Monday, March 30, 2009

J.A. Linehan Jr.

Jeremiah Aloyisius Linehan Jr.
September 13, 1943-March 30, 1999



June 1994 My High School Graduation


10 years ago today is the day my dad died of a sudden fatal heart attack at work. He was 54 years old. My dad was generous, extremely friendly (you wonder where I get it???) and very patient. He didn't have a glamorous job, as a truck driver that delivered prescription meds to pharmacies in Northern California, but I never once heard him complain about the long hours. He always left the house before 6AM and got home around 6PM. He never failed to make that phone call on his way home from work after he'd returned his work truck. Since this was the day before cell phones, I'm now amazed that he took the time to stop and call, to let us know he made it through another work day and he'd be home for dinner. I often looked forward to picking up that call.

I think about him everyday and I know he would have loved to be the twins' Grandpa! I talk about him from time to time. I think I may have told this story before, and I always get a chuckle out of it because this is truly a 3-4 year old brain at work.

Tom is especially interested in my dad. Often, he asks me if I had a dad, even though he knows the answer. I tell him that his middle name, Jeremiah, comes from my dad and what a nice dad he was! He did have a great sense of humor and I can only think that he finds this funny as well. One day Tom was asking me about my dad and when we went over the same facts, that my dad was dead, he says, "Extinct like the dinosaurs?" Um yeah... sorta.

I still can't believe it's been 10 years. I still remember my last phone call with him and the last time I hugged him goodbye as I drove back to my little life in college, 30 miles away. I miss him everyday and I have no doubt he is proud of me, my family, my mom and my siblings.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Auntie Kate!

My baby sister turns 29 years old today. Happy Birthday Kate!



As I was leaving a message for Kate yesterday, I was explaining that I wasn't able to come to her birthday dinner last night because Paul was actually sick, shocking I know! And I have been feeling awful these past few days. Some very painful things going on in the lungular region, but I'm hoping it's just a MAJOR allergy flare up.

Anyway, I was leaving this message on Kate's phone and the twins walk in. Well all they heard was "happy birthday" and "sorry we can't make it to your party." Well, when you're 4, birthday party = cake. Abby was practically in tears. "WE HAVE TO GO TO THE PARTY!" she cries. I promised her we'd see Auntie Kate over spring break and we could celebrate then. Now we have to make this happen! Let me know when you're free Kate!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easter Bunny 2009

The twins have been asking to go see the Easter Bunny. This is the first year they expressed any interest like that, so I was kind a surprised. I'd never taken them to see the bunny before.

So yesterday morning, off we went to the mall in our new Easter garb. Notice Tom's not wearing sweat pants! He looks so adorable in his new shorts. He calls them jeans because they have a zipper, snap and four pockets. He's actually worn them two days in a row since we got them. He loves them! I'm going to have to take this new fashionista shopping with me!

We got to the mall just after 11AM, which is right when the bunny starts working anyway. Well I had no idea he was so popular! We were only 5th in line but since every mom wants their screaming toddler to smile it took FOREVER! Tom was pulling on me, getting more nervous as the minutes ticked by. He kept saying he didn't want to do this anymore that he wanted to go away and do something else. Then he started telling me he wasn't going to stand next to the Easter Bunny, but I finally talked him into it.

Here they are at the house before we left. I took about 7 pictures because that's as many as they would let me take without running away and this is the best I got. In fact it's the only one where both of them are looking at the camera.



Once we got to the mall they were so excited they started running to get in line to see the Easter Bunny!



Here they are waiting to see the bunny... still excited because they hadn't seen the guy up close and personal yet.





And finally! I managed to get them to stand close to him, but they didn't want to sit on his lap, or even on his bench. The Easter Bunny was really patient and put his arm around them. I tried to tell Abby to do her "laughing" face because that brings out her true smile, but instead all I got was the fake picture smile. Oh well. It's a cute age, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lemon Hunt

These kids never cease to make me laugh. Abby was watching a documentary this morning. At some point "Dave" ate a lemon, so Abby got it in her head this morning that she MUST have a lemon. I told her most people don't eat lemons like that, but that didn't matter. She wanted to try it.

So off we went, all three of us to our local grocery store on the lemon hunt. I couldn't find any organic lemons so I decided not to buy a whole lot because I couldn't make lemonade with them anyway. Not the way I wanted to make lemonade anyway, peels and all! Better than buying just one lemon I found Sunkist "baby lemons". I knew it was going to end up in the trash anyway, so why pay for a whole lemon?!

Abby was so excited to try her lemon she could barely get in the house and wash her hands fast enough. Here she is, holding the lemon. Can you stand the excitement in her face?



And the lick:



Oooooh, it's sour!



She looked so pathetically disappointed afterwards.



She explained her disappointment and said that she thought it would be as tasty as "Dave's" lemon on her movie. She gets an A+ for trying though!

Plane Crash

On Sunday, there was a tragic plane crash in Butte, MT. It has been all over the news for three days. What I didn't know until they released the names of the victims, which included 7 adults and 7 children, is that one of the victims was the twins' pediatrician here in Elk Grove. The twins saw Dr. Vanessa Pullen here at Elk Grove Pediatrics the first two years we were here in Elk Grove. She was just a really nice lady, great doctor and I really liked her. Just very very sweet. So sad.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Notes



With a little help from Daddy, Abby wrote this note to Grandma on Saturday morning. (Mom, you have to be surprised to see it next time you come over.)

Translation:

To Grandma
Can you buy a snail
From Abby

I'm not sure why all of the sudden Abby is obsessed with pets, but she really really wants Grandma to have a snail. She said Grandma can keep the snail in a box and feed it snail food.

In other news Tom is obsessed with the movie Wall-E. He loves the character Eve (-uh)



But for some reason whenever he "plays" Eva at home, he makes this face.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Winter Germs!

We have the ever popular Braun ear thermometer in the house. It's the same one that most new moms use. It's easy, quick and painless. To be honest, I've never taken a rectal temperature on my kids because I've never been that worried that their fever was so high I couldn't control it with some motrin or tylenol.

Well normally the silly thermometer registers about 95.6 or 96.6 on the twins' ears. The problem with this thermometer is that the device is so big, it doesn't fit far enough into the ear canal to take an accurate temperature. But since I realize their temps actually run low on this thermometer, if it ever does register above 98.6 I know they've definitely got a fever.

Well yesterday Abby's fever registered at 102 in the morning. And she was not acting herself. She laid around all morning, took a nap on the sofa while grandma and Tom played games and made puzzles right in front of her. She had some motrin in the morning which brought the fever down a bit, but not a whole lot. After her nap it was back up to 102.9, but there are still no other cold/virus type symptoms. Just the fever.

This morning, on sharing day in preschool of all days (every Friday is sharing day and it's the twins' favorite day!) her fever is registering 99.8. So even though it's a far cry from the near 103 yesterday, it's still warm and she'll be staying home from school, much to her disappointment. Tom usually doesn't like to be separated from Abby, but because it's sharing day, he hasn't put up a fuss, in fact I'm sure he's gloating over breakfast right now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Icy Sunday

On Sunday morning Paul emptied our ice chest from the party on Saturday night. He carried it out to the backyard and dumped all the ice into a pile on the grass. Tom was fascinated by this ice pile, wondering, out loud, every 30 seconds if it was going to melt yet. Of course it was a cloudy cool day, so the ice wasn't going to melt anytime fast.

Eventually I told Tom he could put his shoes on and go outside and play with the ice. First thing he does is jump up an down on the big pile of ice. That wasn't satisfactory enough. The next thing he does is squat on top of the pile, pick up a piece of ice and eat it! Yes, after he'd just stepped on it. Apparently it wasn't good enough to go back for seconds. During the next hour he took pieces of ice and one by one placed them onto the patio and with a big stomp, crushed them under his foot. Then he started catapulting them up into the air to watch them crash down onto the ground and be smashed into smithereens. Who knew ice could be so fun?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Inaugural Bi-Monthly Rotating Dinner Party

Last night Paul and I hosted dinner for a bunch of friends. We're going to make a bi-monthly event of this, rotating the host every time. I think we kicked it off pretty good with some carne on the grill and chicken tacos too. There was a bit of a hiccup in the afternoon when Abby woke from her nap very very sick, pukey sick, like Tom and I were last week. Poor little doll was not a happy camper the whole night.

I panicked and called all of the guests to let them know what was going on. We had way too much good food to let it go to waste! I just had to disclose Abby's illness, but as Nicole put it, "What do you think? Her germs are going to jump off of her onto me?" It's just so hard for me as a cystic to NOT think about virus' as life altering. I quarantined Abby to my room on the bed the whole time anyway. She was in no condition to get up and party and spread her germs.

Abby is finally ok this evening and she has demanded that we take her to The Habit for dinner. Being the suckers that we are, and that she hasn't had anything to eat in a day and a half, we are going to spoil her (and us). She actually said, "I introduce that we go to the Habit for dinner because we haven't been there in a very very long time." How could we say no?

Pictures from our dinner party can be found here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The News

Tom and Abby love the evening news. I'm not sure if it's because we keep the TV on for an entire hour and they are mesmerized by the commercials or if the genuinely have an interest in current events. Once 5PM hits Paul and I typically head to the kitchen to prepare dinner. If we even mention the word dinner and the TV is not turned on the twins will pipe up, "Don't you want to watch the news?"

From 5:00-5:30 we have our local news. The highlight of the local news is the weather forecast. They completely understand the graphics of the 5 day forecast and they pay attention intently to the meteorologists phrases so they can repeat them, over and over. "CHANCE OF SHOWERS!" "COLD FRONT MOVING IN!"

At 5:30PM the "man with the tie" comes on, also known in the real world as Brian Williams of the NBC Nightly News. They don't pay much attention to most of the nation/world news until they see... "The Obama!" They recognize Barack right away and yell, "The Obama is on TV again!" It didn't occur to us until last weekend that they actually thought the President of the United States was a fictional character. Abby REALLY enjoys watching The Obama on TV and last weekend I joked that she should marry The Obama if she loves him so much. She laughed and squealed and said, "I can't marry him, he's not REAL!"

We had to explain that sometimes the people on TV are real. Then we busted out the local PBS special that featured Daddy and the whole family 3 years ago. So now they realize even they have been on TV and they are certainly real!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Long Lost Ribbon

The day Tom and Abby were born, their Godfather drove up the coast of California to meet them for the first time. With him, he brought two bears, "Yellow Bear" and "Brown Bear". One was meant for each baby, but over the years Tom grew fond of both and acquired them into his crib. He is especially fond of Brown Bear and around 4 months old, Tom started using Brown Bear's red satin ribbon to sooth himself to sleep. Tom would rub his index finger and thumb back and forth, clasping the red ribbon between them and he'd make this motor type sound at the same time. It was this "aaaahhhh" sound but more throaty, like a car motor.

Anyway, this self soothing technique continued for the next two years. We noticed at 2.5 years old when the twins were moved out of their cribs and into twin beds, the motor sound suddenly stopped. That didn't mean he wasn't still rubbing the ribbon between his fingers as he fell asleep, because he was! Every nap time and every bedtime Tom had his Brown Bear with trusty (dusty) ribbon around his neck. Eventually ribbon got separated from Brown Bear and Tom started to call him "Snaky." Now every nap time and every bed time we had to find Brown Bear, Yellow Bear and Snaky.

Snaky was sometimes hard to find as he is much smaller than a stuffed bear! Tom also liked to bring Snaky wherever he was playing that day as well. Snaky came to breakfast, Snaky got balled up and shoved into all sorts of plastic vehicles like monster trucks and garbage trucks and construction vehicles. A few times I even found Snaky hidden in a sock Tom was wearing or down a pant leg. But not a day went by where we didn't know where Snaky was.

Well, Tom is almost 4.5 years old and I'm sad to report after a 4 year relationship, Snaky has been missing for over a week. He's just GONE. It's not often we have a lost toy in this house. I'm super ridiculously organized when it comes to the twins' toys. I have specific bins for specific groups of toys and if something goes missing, it probably got eaten up by our couch. That's when I send Paul in to go fishing for it. But Snaky has not turned up in over a week. I think he is lost forever. I turned this house upside down looking for him. I checked every box, every bin, under every cushion. I took apart every bed, shook out the sheets, checked inside all zippers and pockets of various items.

After seeing the world with us, Snaky is nowhere to be found. Snaky accompanied Tom to Scotland and back, to Canada and back, to Washington DC and back, to Mexico and back, up and down the coast of California and back. And it seems we have lost him in our very own home.

All things considered, Tom is doing reasonably well. There have been no tears shed over Snaky's loss, however I know he would be more than delighted to have Snaky back. DO NOT BE FOOLED! This is not a plea for a replacement Snaky!! Our stuffed animal to child ratio is something ridiculous like 40:1 in this house. Also we technically have a replacement Snaky you know. It's still neatly factory tied around Yellow Bear's neck. Tom will have none of it because it's not Brown Bear's ribbon.

Below is the last known photo of Snaky taken on March 1. You can see him there on the kitchen table, lying between his two loves, Tom and Brown Bear.



RIP little red ribbon. Wherever you are.


**********UPDATE!!************

I've been thinking about writing this entry since we lost ribbon 7 days ago. Well today Tom woke from his nap soaking wet. In throwing the sheets into the washing machine, guess who I found? Oh yeah... Ribbon is back!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Night Out That Wasn't...

Saturday was a busy day for me. I packed the twins up around 10AM and took them to see Oma and Papa for the night. They were so excited to spend 2 naps and 1 night at Oma and Papa's. Or as Abby would say "three nights".

After the drop off I went to Berkeley for Jenny's baby shower. As hard as we all tried to squeeze that baby girl's name outta her, none of us will find out baby's name until she's born! I can't wait!

Around 4PM I got a short text from Paul, "Call me when you can." This is really weird for him to text me like that. When I have days where I'm out and about and he know approximately when I'll be home, I NEVER hear from him. I thought maybe he had special plans for dinner and needed to know when I'd be home, but mostly I thought, uh oh, something's wrong with the twins. 45 minutes went by and as I was walking to the car to come home I get a voicemail on my phone. This time there are more details. Tom was driven back to Elk Grove, he is sick. Like pukey sick.

He ended up throwing up three times yesterday. He didn't eat anything past 10AM yesterday, no lunch, no dinner, so when he woke up this morning after sleeping 11 hours he was HUUUUUNGRY! He has eaten a normal breakfast so I think we're in the clear.

Abby was hilarious yesterday. She wanted her "3 nights" at Oma and Papa's, so she went back to Davis with them and will be home for dinner tonight. This is the longest the twins have been away from each other and it's their first night they have spent apart EVER!

Abby called us around 8PM to say goodnight. She sounded pretty sad. Apparently she had been sitting in bed and came out to find Oma and Papa demanding that "this night is taking too long!" So they used that opportunity to call us and say goodnight. Tom and Abby talked to each other a little bit too. I prompted Tom to say "I love you Abby." And she replied back in a soft almost squeaky voice on the verge of tears, "I love you too Tom." And that was about it! I'm curious to see how the rest of the night went.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Car Seat LATCH/Tethers

I learned something new yesterday and I thought I would share it with the world here because it's the first time I heard of such a thing!

You may have noticed all the new cars (2002 and newer) and car seats have this buckle system called LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) My car has LATCH as well as a top tether.

But DID YOU KNOW... These anchors and tethers have a weight limit? The weight limit depends on your vehicle as well as your car seat, whichever is less. My vehicle weight maximums for the LATCH and car seat maximum for the LATCH happen to match at 48 pounds. What this means is, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not test these anchors beyond a 65 pound weight limit (that's a 48 pound child, plus the weight of the car seat) So the LATCH may be safe to use beyond a 48 pound child, it's just not tested so there are no guarantees.

I searched high and low for information on my Britax Wizard car seats about what the weight limit is for the top tether and came up empty handed. My 2008 Ford Escape car owner's manual however did have a weight limit on this top tether of 60 pounds when using a child safety seat and 80 pounds when using the adult seat belt plus a harness. Now I have no idea what this "adult seat belt plus harness" contraption is. I would first assume it might be a 5 point harness booster seat, but then again, that type of seat weighs the same or more than a convertible car seat, so why the 20 pound difference?

I think what all this boils down to is, once your child reaches 48 pounds (or less depending on your vehicle and car seat requirements) you are supposed to use the adult seat belt to secure the child safety seat, in addition to the top tether. Now my question is, is there any harm is using the LATCH as well as the tether AND adult seat belt? Does that cover all my bases or does that catapult my child from the car in the event on an accident? It's all very confusing!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dance, Baby, Dance!

Today Tom and Abby had a field trip with their preschool class to the Elite Studio of Dance. There were two classes there, so that means 24 4 year olds all learning how to dance, at the same time. Talk about chaos! But organized chaos. In fact there was only one little boy that didn't listen and had to be reminded (almost kicked out of the class!) more than once. (and it wasn't Tom!)

Tom and Abby really enjoyed this dancing and tumbling with their friends. They warmed up with stretches.



They had to strike a pose, and every time they had to strike a pose and hold it, Abby leaned all the way over and placed just one hand on the ground. It was exactly the same pose for her every single time.



Wednesday, March 04, 2009

No Doubt

Today we were driving home from preschool and Tom used the word "doubt". I think he picked this one up at preschool because he said, "I doubt we will have to do cartwheels on our field trip tomorrow. And Miss Pahla doubts we will have to do cartwheels on our field trip tomorrow. She doubts it."

Then you hear Abby almost cry in the background, "I CAN'T do a cartwheel." So Tom goes on to say, "Abby, Abby, Abby, doubt means you don't think so. So I don't think we are going to have to do cartwheels on our field trip tomorrow."

They are going on a field trip to a dance studio tomorrow. i don't know where they got it in their head that there would be cartwheels involved. Abby was really looking forward to dancing until she somehow got it in her head today there were cartwheels involved.

In other news, the twins have new underwear! I went out on Monday and re-stocked their underwear drawer full of new underwear in their favorite characters. It was about time, since I hadn't bought them new underwear in two years since they started wearing it! Abby has a bunch of princess underwear and Tom got lucky with a multipack that had Buzz Lightyear, McQueen, The Incredibles, Wall-E, and a fifth character that I can't seem to remember right now. He has informed me that he will never wear the incredibles underwear, so into the diaper bag those will go as spares! He said that last time about some other pairs he had and he eventually ended up wearing them anyway. In fact they became a favorite!

As soon as I brought the twins home from school on Monday we unpacked the underwear. Abby spread hers out on the living room floor one by one and then neatly stacked them up to be put away. Tom on the other hand, ripped into both packages, picked the pair he wanted (Wall-E) and then stripped down to try them on. He grabbed his bottom and bent over and kept telling me how wonderful and better they felt than the other pairs I MADE him wear before. And that my friends is how you get two happy campers! They've been talking about their underwear for three days now and showing everyone that will look!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

February 2009 Telford Twins Update

In mid February we packed the car and drove to Southern California for our annual Pezific Coast Pez Convention weekend. Tom and Abby really got into the spirit of collecting Pez this year. They hunted for specific finds and were spoiled by so many generous Pezheads with freebies and candy. When we got home we had to buy shelves for their room to display all these new treasures.

At the convention on bingo night, they got a special treat, glow stick bracelets! At bedtime the bracelets were still glowing bright and I couldn't pry them out of their little hands. Of course sleeping next to a glow stick was far too tempting. I should have known better! An hour after I put them to bed in their adjoining hotel room, Tom comes wandering into my room. He wasn't clear about what he wanted so I ushered him back to bed after confiscating both glow sticks. As I'm lifting him into the dark room I see what appears to be glow goo on my hands. The glow stick had broken. Indeed, it was all over my hands, all over Tom's pajamas and his bed was lit up brighter than a sparkler on the 4th of July!

Abby is into all things princess and fairies lately. She really enjoys dress up time as well as princess and fairy movies and story books. On my nightstand I have a photo of Paul and I dancing on our wedding day. Recently Abby spied this and asked if that was me and Daddy dancing at the fancy ball. I told her that was the day we got married and to make it even more interesting, I told her we had our true love's first kiss, because that's what happens in all her fairy tales. She thinks about this for a moment as her eyes grow big and eventually asks, "Were you locked in the highest room of the tallest tower guarded by a fire breathing dragon?" Maybe we've watched "Shrek" one too many times over here.

Pictures from February 2009 can be found here.