Monday, November 2, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year

Do you want smart people to run your schools? Like your garbage to be picked up on time? Prefer Franklin Street to actually have stores that are, you know, in business? The Nov. 3 Election is for you!

Step 1: Find your ballot. If you want to be cool, you print it so you can bring it filled-out to the polls. That will really impress the elderly volunteers. Maybe they'll give you an extra sticker!

Step 2: Research your candidates:
News & Observer Coverage
IndyWeek Questionnaire

Step 3: Find out where and when you can vote.

Step 4. Revel in the knowledge that you have just participated in Democracy.

Spread the word!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Look to the Right

You'll learn a lot more if you check my Twitter feed.
Just look this way.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Fun with Friends continued with BBQ's, concerts, and lots of nice weather.

Other pics:

Friday, August 28, 2009

August Highlights

The Beach! We joined our friends the McCarthy's on the Outer Banks and had a blast. Hope to do it again.

Other Snapshots of the Month.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fun with Captions

All is well in Chez Yama. I'm off work so we're enjoying the pool and other outdoor sports this summer. The babies are in a great place where their schedule is predictable and manageable. This is in contrast to a few months ago when I hit a wall and was unable to remember basic stuff like putting gas in my car and dressing myself properly. Seriously, in the same week I ran out of gas and spent an entire day with my pants on inside-out.

Alex and Sasha are loving school, their friends, temporary tatoos, and sushi. Alex has become a puzzle savant and has a great future at NASA if they don't mind counting to three everytime they need him to follow the most basic direction.

Sasha is playing increasingly elaborate pretend games with her toys. Our favorite is when she imitates Lisa Kudrow's character from Mad About You as the Worst Waitress Ever. Sasha approaches us with her notepad (Hello Kitty, natch) and pencil asking us what we would like to eat.

Mommy: "Umm.. How about a cheeseburger."
Sasha: "A Wendy's cheeseburger? That's your favorite. [scribbles something down] No, sorry mama, we don't have cheeseburgers."
Mommy: "Ok, I'll take cereal."
Sasha: "Great! I'll go get your pizza. And beer."
And then she wanders away to take someone else's order but never returns with food--not even pretend food!

Nu and I went to a wedding in St. Thomas which was awesome on so many levels. We missed the kids, but it was so great to sit by a pool without playing lifeguard/sunscreen dispenser. Oh, and seeing our friends get married was nice too! :)

And randomly, here are some recent pictures with commentary:

Sasha: "I'm going to "bu-lay" (she pronounces "ballet" as if she were Cajun)"

Mom: "Love me some Cutie Casey!"
Casey: "Squeezing. me. too. tight."

Alex: "How'd you like my Dinasaur Roar, Blake?"
Blake: "WAAAAAHHHHH!!!!"
Casey: "Now you've done it . . ."

How many Yama's can we get in one picture?

(Can anyone tell me why this collage is coming out so blurry? I used Picasa)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm so glad you asked

So many of my [four] readers have asked me the same questions that I feel the need to answer them all here as an entirely separate self-aggrandizing post. I am very busy and cannot be bothered to answer all 7 of your questions individually. Plus, it's much cooler to brag about myself to EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET, than to privately and modestly respond to every reader.

1. What kind of Camera do you use?

My brother David gave me a black one. I think the brand name starts with an "L" or something. It has a Flash and a Lens Cap and a bunch of buttons I don't know how to use. Sometimes I also use the one that came with my phone.

2. Your seem like such a great parent. What is your secret?

Thanks! I AM a great parent. I have all the answers and only share stories of my children misbehaving to make my blog more relatable. My secret is that I sew all my family's clothes. Out of hemp and flaxseed.

3. Do people ask you about your kids in public? How do you respond to all the annoying comments about twins?

I am ungrateful for my four healthy and beautiful children so I respond to strangers' compliments with sarcastic remarks that make my kids seem like a burden. And I sound like Mother Theresa for caring for children I chose to conceive. Most of my comments include variations of cheesy twin clich├ęs like "double the trouble."

4. I loved that beautiful patterned shirt you wear in several posts. Where can I get one?

Thanks! It's from a famous designer and I spent a ton of money on it.

5. How do you find the time to feed your family nutritious, homemade meals?

I don't.

6. Will you do a post on disposable diapering?

Sure--I'll do it right now. Buy diapers at store. Put them on baby. Throw the used ones into the landfill. Repeat as needed.

7. Chemicals--shouldn't we be worried about them?

No. What are you--Amish? Chemicals make our food taste better, help us live longer, and are just plain fun. Don't be a buzzkill.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fairy and Pirate Camp

Alex and Sasha had their first dance experience this week at "Fairy and Pirate Dance Camp." The instructor was their beloved preschool teacher from last year and they had a fabulous time with all their friends. On the last day, there was a small recital where they performed a dance in little tutus. Nu was OK with Alex taking dance, especially with the very manly Pirate theme. But in the end, Alex wanted to be like all the other (girl) campers and we got these hilarious pics and videos. Someday, he will forgive me but I can't resist sharing them:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pain is for Suckers

This post is dedicated to Benanna who are expecting a Chaquita Benanna in October!

I didn't blog a lot about pregnancy. The first pregnancy was pre-StalkingDebo and the 2nd pregnancy was so weird with all the twins. I drafted a few posts but just couldn't finish anything.

For posterity, I'm going to post a few random stories from my pregnancies. Some things are just too weird or funny to be forgotten.

Twins have a greater chance of being born via C-section but if you spend 10 seconds on Google, you can find lots of ways to bring two babies into the world. Hospital, Birthing Center, Home Birth, Mountaintop labor, you can find it all. In my 1st pregnancy, Sasha was footling breach from about week 28. She was as spread out as much as possible taking up 2/3 of my belly while little Alex was tucked into a ball in the corner. It took MONTHS for him to extend his legs after he was born.

But by the time we needed to take a childbirth class, Nu and I weren't sure of my childbirth fate. I thought a C-section was likely but my Dr. didn't want to make any decisions until week 35. So we went though the motions and enrolled in a Labor Orientation class. We had a wonderful teacher who was so knowledgeable about how babies are born. They covered every part of labor--even C-sections--and provided info about newborn babies as well.

HOWEVER, we did not fit in very well with the rest of our classmates. Our first clue came within the first 10 minutes of class. Everyone went around the room and shared their goals for their childbirth. Goals? How about healthy babies? Isn't that the point of this whole drama? Apparently no. Some masochists actually think the goal of pregnancy is the childbirth experience. And their wives agree with them.

Some want to experience the PAIN, the SUFFERING, the INCONTINENCE and they don't want so much as an aspirin to get in their way. There were about 15 couples in our class and each went around the room sharing their goals:

little intervention
no meds!
Preferably while singing "Kum Ba Ya"

When it was my turn, I wanted to say, "I don't want to feel anything. I
actually want an epidural right now." but I felt pressured and self-conscious of
my radical pain management ideas and muttered something like, "I want the least
traumatic experience possible."

At this point, I should say that this is America and everyone has a right to their own childbirth experience. Do I think women should be able to choose how they give birth? Absolutely. Do I understand chilbirth without meds? Not really.


Nu and I continued to attend this class week after week learning important things about breathing and pushing and transition and placentas, etc. I think the class was most helpful for Nu. Not until you have your first pregnancy do you realize how little guys know about
how babies are made. At one point during the pregnancy, I briefly convinced him
that the baby's body parts were floating around independent of each other until
they popped onto the body like Mr. Potato Head.

But when we weren't learning about the birthing process, we were practicing breathing and talking about pain management. With a Frosty always in hand (love the Wendy's at the
hospital), I went through the motions just in case I had to give birth in a
stalled elevator or something. The best part was when we clipped clothespins to
our ears to simulate breathing through the pain. We just squealed "ouch! ouch!
ouch!" until stern looks from our classmates shamed us into taking them off.

We experiemented with a variety of birthing positions--the exercise
ball, pillows, leaning on a chair, etc. I determined that these exercises were
way too hard to do pregnant and usually ended sipping my frosty while leaning
against the back wall. Naoshi just kept txting on his phone while asking "guy"

Will the hospital TV have cable?

Do I (Nu) have to spend the night?

If you're getting an epidural, why do we have to learn about breathing?

Ew gross!!! Is that the baby's head!!???

Is it ok if I play soccer next Thursday?

If nothing else, Childbirth Class convinced me that "Traditional Methods" were not for me. As soon as allowed, I scheduled my appointment for a Friday in the OR and never looked back. Three years and two weeks later, we did it all again and it was even more fun the 2nd time.

December 2, 2005

December 12, 2008

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who's really the adult here?

Now that they are three, Alex and Sasha have a fairly good grasp of the English Language, a pretty good grip on important Japanese phrases, and the standard "Dora & Diego" vocabulary of . . .

Ayudame (help me)

Abajo (something involving Diego and him ever-swimming downward)

Vamanos (let's go)

Arriba (up or let's go--something usually said to motivate Boots)

. . . and some other words that cartoon children need to communicate with their animal friends.

Still, though, were are astounded by how quickly their vocabulary and syntax improves every day. Usually their impressive phrases are directed as imperial commands toward each other or us. Here are the latest:

A: That's not a whale, that's an ORCA. That's not a monkey, that's a LEMUR.

S: (At the store) Wait a second mommy. I really need to pick out a new book. Wouldn't it be nice if we bought a princess book?

A: Sasha, these pajamas are too tight. Let's take them off but not tell mommy and daddy [who are listening in the next room]


A: I listened at school today! [teacher] said I listened very well! Yeah!! I did not bite anyone! Can I have a cookie?

S: Baba [grandma], I need you to buy me ballet stuff. So I can dance. And I need to go to dance class. Actually (long dramatic pause) my doll Lani would like to dance too.

A: Can my cow get boots for the snow? His feet will be cold.
[Side note: Cow is a disembodied Giraffe head attached to a ratty blanket. He has no appendages--feet or otherwise]

S and A: [Yelled at full volume at 7am] I'M AWAKE! I'M ALL DONE SLEEPING! I HAVE MY UNDIES ON!!!!!!! I WANT TO EAT BREAKFAST!!!! WAKE UP, DADDY!!!!!

A: [In response to a question like, "Where are your pants?" or "Did you drink the bubble soap?"] I have no 'deas. Nope. No 'deas.

In addition, Sasha has a bloodcurdling scream that drives us bananas. The noise she makes sounds like a Freight Train screeching to a halt and melts my brain. The kicker is that she uses it for the smallest of injustices. If Alex was to try on her pink sandals, if she can't get her princess dress on fast enough, if she has three crackers instead of four--she lets loose this unearthly noise. We now have a house rule that she gets timeout for this scream WITHOUT QUESTION unless she is, in fact, being eaten by a Killer Crocodile. In that case, we will hear her side first.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I do not like

Pimento cheese.

Little stick figure pictures of families stuck to the window of peoples' cars.

The Food Network or any other Cooking Show. More interesting channels include: The TV Guide Channel, Book TV, and the blank screen that says "You don't pay for this premium channel."

People doing things the hard way/long way/stupid way and then complain about how long, difficult and stupid their task was.

People who should be napping but instead are SCREAMING.

When the TIVO programming guide is wrong and it records the wrong show.

When I have to dig through the dirty laundry to find not-too-dirty pants for the kids to wear.

Political Pundits. So. Much. Yelling.

That the recycling people follow secret cardboard collection rules and take or leave my cardboard at the curb using a different mysterious criteria every week.

That my kids cannot come home from a playground without a pile of sand in each of their shoes.

That clean laundry doesn't fold itself on the floor of my bedroom.

That I always have essays to grade.

That Casey and Blake will someday eat solid food. The mess. The stains. The screaming between spoonfuls.

That I am going to have to diet and exercise a lot to lose the baby weight. Again.

That I can't stay awake to read an entire chapter of a book before bedtime.

That I can't keep my babies little forever.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

You say it's your birthday . . .

It's not anybody's birthday at our house, but have been invited to some awesome throwdowns at various Bouncy-Gym-Zoo-Kid places this month. A&S LIVE for these parties. It's all they talk about for a week before and after. In fact, if your preschooler is planning a party and needs some extra guests to round out your numbers and liven up the crowd. CALL US. We will come and bring you a gift. And only the birthday child will be more enthusiastic than our children.

Here's some snippets of conversation Pre and Post Party today. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Sasha: "Mama, is it the right day for Becca's party?"
Alex: "We're going to BOUNCE!!!! HIGH!!!!! [Jumps up and down for effect]"
S: "Wheeeeeee! I'm so excited!!!!! Will there be presents?"
Mom: "Yes, but this is Becca's special day. Remember, you already had a birthday party and Becca brought you presents. "
S: [Tears, scrunched red face] "But I want presents. It's MY birthday."
Mom: "No. It's Becca's. We are going to be happy for Becca or you are going to sit in the car while Alex bounces."
A: I'M GOING TO BOUNCE!!! AND RUN!!!!! AND BOUNCE!!!! [still jumping around the room]
S: "Noooooooo. I want presents. For my birthdaaaaayyyy!" [tears return]
Mom: [remarkably calm considering this is the 7th time this week we've had this conversation] "Sasha, can you keep it together and be happy for your friend? You need to be happy for her or wait in the car. Which do you want?"
S: [sniffling and holding on by the thinnest of threads] "O. K. but at my birthday party I want presents. Princess presents. Pink Princess Presents. "
Mom: "Yes. In 10 months, you will get presents again."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Random bits of Yama

We're very busy having a great time here in the land of Yama. Some recent highlights:

  • Blake and Casey are smiling a lot--at us, at lights on their swing, and when they poop their pants.
  • Sasha is deeply entrenched in the D1SNEY-PRINCESS-MARKETING-COMPLEX. Another mom might object to this completely transparent advertising strategy designed to increase corporate profits at the expense of her daughter's soul. I think it's adorable and love talking about all the princesses stickers, dresses, purses, and various other accessories she has or wishes she had. I've even found that I can use this branding hysteria to my advantage. If I want to convince her to do something against her will, I preface it with "pretty" or "princess." Like, "Don't you want to eat these Pretty Princess Green Beans?"
  • On that note, Sasha wants to DANCE. She longs for dances classes and *pretty* dance dresses and shoes. Our current scheduling situation doesn't really allow for a regular class, but we're looking into some temporary summer options. She is likely to take a class with her brother, so we're trying to find some good gender-neutral camps. According to Nu , "Fairy Camp" is not an option.
  • Alex and Sasha are signed up for Soccer this spring. We're looking forward to the family outings and hysterical stories about a bunch of preschoolers playing their first organized sport. While they both like playing Soccer with dad, Alex has shown the most interest so far. He has mastered the Dribble, the Drop Kick, the Header, the Heel Kick, the Fake, and the ridiculous dance Brazilian players do when they score a goal. Now if only he could use these skills while actually playing soccer . . .
  • Nu and I are back at work and finding it to be . . . pretty good actually. Multi-tasking is the name of the game and we're finding creative ways to save time and still have adult social interactions. For those of you planning to have multiple multiples (as I'm sure MANY of you are), let us share some of our slightly shady but effective short-cuts:
  1. We accept that we will be late to everything. Not that we were on time before, but not now we have a really good reason.
  2. We eat mostly from our freezer or our pantry. We keep soda and beer in our produce drawers now. Again, it's not that we were organic vegans before kids, but now we don't even pretend to eat fresh food.
  3. We do not change anyone's clothes unless they are smelly or visibly dirty.
  4. Same rule from above applies to diapers.
  5. Same applies to baths. Unless we're at Babas where she does it for us. :)
  6. We invite our friends over after dinner to have fun at our house. Long live Club Nu!!!
  7. We utilize DeboYama's hard-earned higher education to figure out how to get 4 kids and the groceries in a shoppinig cart at Target. It's pretty heavy to push, but it can be done.
  8. We hold onto the kids' naps with a ninja-like-death-grip. Our sanity relies upon rested children and afternoon down-time. I will do everything short of tranquilizers to keep the big kids napping--or at least reading quietly on days they're not tired. So far, so good.
We'll post more pictures soon, but we're having trouble finding the time to take them! We MUST, MUST break out the video camera soon or B&C will grow up to think we kidnapped them as toddlers! Until we get it together, check out our Picasa Feed on the sidebar.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I believe

In God.

In Diet Coke.

That my kids will eat when they're hungry.

That TV can be good for you (or at least entertaining).

In reading Books.

In reading Magazines (from USWeekly to the Economist--anything in magazine form is interesting)

In spending time with my kids--together and separately

In spending time with Nu--with our kids, with our friends, and just us.

In gadgets.

That G00gle is systematically brainwashing me through it's awesome applications, and I don't care.

In junk food.

That junk food will make me fat, so I can't eat too much.

In marshmellow peeps.

That twittering is a form of advanced social discourse.

That most problems can be solved with a nap.

That TV presidents should listen to Jack Bauer the first time.

That organic food is not a priority because it's not as convenient as frozen and/or prepared food.

In the wonderful goodness that is Movie Theater Popcorn.

That my friends keep me sane.

That Lipstick Jungle was unfairly canceled.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My name is . . .

. . . Blake

Mommy calls me "Blakey Bear" and my big brother calls me "Bwake." I am the smallest of all the Yamas but have grand aspirations to someday grow out of Newborn Diapers (February is my month--I can FEEL it!).

My special gift is my Tried-and-True-Patented-Face-of-Heartbreaking-Pathetic-Sadness. When I stick out my lower lip, it is almost impossible for adults to resist my powers. Mommy has supplied many an extra meal to end my unbearable misery of being a little bit thirsty.

I am a great daytime sleeper and a mediocre nighttime sleeper. I love being swaddled and usually calm down fairly quickly after a meal.

My eyes are half of my face. When I'm awake, I look HYPER alert. Coupled with my old-man hairstyle, I am a chick magnet.

While in utero, I periodically stressed out my parents with wacky test results and measurements. After all that worry, it turns out that I was just a typical Yama--short with a big head and crazy hair. My parents thank God daily for my good health.

I am awesome at Tummy Time. I love practicing head-turning and leg kicking. I'm so good at it that I rolled off the ottoman onto the floor when I was about 3 weeks old. My parents were 12 inches away.

My family loves my Flipper noises. They say my squeaks and grunts sound quite Dolphin-like and think I have a promising career at Sea W0rld.

I am almost 7 weeks old.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My name is . . .

. . . Casey

And I'm a milk addict. I sniff and snort like a piglet when it's time to eat. After each meal, I fill up my diaper and you can hear it 100 yards away. It sounds like a quart of oatmeal being thrown at a brick wall--only worse. And the smell . . .

When I'm not creating a scene with my "elimination" habits, I smile at my Mommy. And my dad, my brothers and my sister. I love to sleep and my little blue outfits bring out the color in my eyes.

I have already rolled over several times from my tummy. Maybe not on purpose exactly, but I do have some wicked-awesome head control. I have a love-hate relationship with those velcro straight jackets I wear at night. Sometimes they are very soothing and I sleep like a little puppy. Sometimes they make me cry until my head turns purple and my parents wonder if my eyes will start bleeding any minute.

I have a lot of hair. Not quite as much as my sister at this age, but a little more than my brothers. Because it sticks up, I look remarkably similar to a Monchichi.

I have never had a bath in my own house. Somehow, I have managed to con my "Baba" into bathing me several times a week. Grandparents are the best!

I'm six weeks old.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How Parenting is like Surgery

This week, the medical community discovered that if they use a simple checklist they can avoid surgical errors and experience a significant decrease in fatalities. I'm most surprised to discover which common mistakes doctors have been making, apparently up until this week. The list is long, but here are the highlights:

1. Cutting open the wrong patient
2. Operating on the wrong body part (Oh, you said SPLEEN? )
3. Not knowing members of the surgical team and their particular expertise. (You're the food services tech? I thought you were monitoring the anesthesia!)
4. Using unclean equipment. (Is that blood or BBQ sauce?)
5. Not counting instruments before and after surgery to make sure there are no stray sponges or scalpels inside the patient (I remember the medical team doing this count after my 2 c-sections. After the most recent delivery, Nu and I were amused when our team spent a full minute arguing about the number of instruments that were in or out of my belly. We were all relieved when they found that last clamp.)

I post this not to critique doctors, but because it's given me a great idea of my own. As the number of children in our family has doubled recently, Nu and I are also finding ourselves making stupid mistakes, forgetting important things (and people), and generally not keeping it all together.

So here's my proposed checklist for the imperfect parent:

1. In the morning, confirm the presence of each child and determine who they will be with that day. It's only a matter of time before Nu and I both leave the house mistakenly thinking the other has some or all of the children. Meanwhile Alex and Sasha are home alone playing RockBand while Blake and Casey sing backup from their bouncy seats.

2. Label everyone's clothes and food. It would be embarrassing for the Alex and Sasha to show up at school wearing newborn onesies and carrying a lunchboxes full of frozen breastmilk. Meanwhile, that pb&j won't do Blake and Casey much good at Grandma's house.

3. Devise some type of ropes-course-like verbal routine when double checking seat-belts. "Alex, check? Sasha, check? Drive ON!" Twice last week, I started to drive away when a 3-yr-old in the back yelled, "Mama, I'm not BUCKLED!!!! " This will be harder with the babies, but they can just waive their paci's or something.

4. Account for all medical equipment. Bandaids, pain relief (for kids and parents), and diaper cream should be easily accessible to parents but out of reach for kids. But you've got to keep that stuff secure. Sasha would wallpaper her body with cartoon bandaids if given the opportunity. As a baby, Alex once ate some Desitin while I was changing his diaper. (BTW, Poison Control says diaper cream is not toxic in small quantities)

5. Be sure equipment is present and in proper working order. Cell phones must be charged, strollers packed in the trunk, and TIVO full of Dora/Diego episodes at all times.

6. Prepare for unexpected outcomes. Extra pants, undies, and diapers should always be with you. Snacks should be close by. Grandma should be on speed dial.

So far, we've managed to keep everybody safe and reasonably happy. Here's hoping next week goes well too!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to make your Babies Hate You

1. Use some type of specialized baby wrapping device to force them to fall asleep. Some call it a "Swaddling Blanket", but in Guantanamo Bay they call it an "Interrogation Accessory"
2. Let their Older Siblings sneeze on said babies and pass on a potentially serious Respiratory Virus
3. Take babies to the Dr. where they can wait 45 minutes to be stripped, poked, prodded to confirm illness.
4. Once babies have been confirmed sick, check their temperature repeatedly in a very sensitive area. (interestingly, one blogger is convinced that such measures are the reason behind so many Alien Abduction flashbacks)
4. Use the Nasal Aspirator several times a day to help "clear congestion" or alternatively--suck their Brains out through their nose.

Poor little guys.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Adventures on the Maternity Floor

Disclaimer: I wrote this at the hospital, but have been too busy to blog over the last few weeks. Sorry if it's old news.

Blake: "Who is this joker and why is he all up in my space?"

We spent three days on floor 5 and a great time was had by all. During the first 36 hours, Casey and Blake were very sleepy but could be convinced to eat if we agitated them enough. By Saturday night, they were in full-out newborn mode and needed a lot more rocking, swaddling, shushing, etc. Thank goodness for the newborn nursery where nurses could attend to them while we got the last few hours of sleep for the next 4 weeks.

Alex and Sasha came to visit us a few time and were somewhat excited to see the new baby brothers, but much more interested in my high-tech bed with all the buttons. They also favored the maternity lounge with the unlimited juicebox and cracker supply. The fam really stepped up to the plate by taking care of the big kids while we were gone. Even though they missed us, we could tell the kids had a great time with their aunts, uncle, and Grandparents.

As my 2nd experience on the maternity floor, I noticed that not much had changed in 3 yrs. There are so many highlights, but here are my favorite.

Ten Bizarre Things about Floor 5

10. The state-of-the-art room with modern decor and equipment. And a 15 inch TV from 1986.

9. The bed which inexplicably moves every 10 minutes to prevent bedsores. Because so many new moms are tragically afflicted with this problem. Also last time I checked, most of us are not 90 yrs old.

8. Nurses that enter the room every 30 minutes to retake my temp, Casey's temp, Blakes temp, my blood pressure, Casey's blood pressure, Blake's blood pressure, etc.

7. Nurses who wake me up, turn on the lights, ask me 5 questions about who's dirty diaper this is (Casey's? Blake's? One of those babies with the blue hat?) and then leave with this helpful reminder . . .
"Please get some rest. It's so important that you sleep here in the hospital while you can."

6. The food. No matter how little I eat, the friendly nutritian delivery service person continues to bring me more. We also had several awkward moments where they asked if I was going to finish my hospital dinner while I was clearly eating Chinese take-out with Chopsticks.

5. The bruises left on the boys from all the blood that is drawn. It looks like they were attacked by a colony of vampire bats.

4. The team of SIX pediatricians who visited us on our last day to discharge us. Two attendings, two residents, and two med students in our little room with two parents and two children.

3. The snack room with unlimited free ice cream. SO GREAT!!!

2. The crazy swaddling skills of the nurses. One nurse can swaddle both babies with one hand while taking my blood pressure and temp with another.

1. The newborn nursery--where babies can play while their parents get a few hours of shut-eye. If only we had one at home.

Gratuitous Shot of Casey dressed in ill-fitting homecoming outfit, crying because his parents are already embarrassing him.

Nu trading places with me in my torture-device/bed.

Alex: "So these little guys belong to me now?"

Sasha: "Let me show you the tricks Mommy. I just read that "Happiest Baby on the Block" book.

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