Sunday, September 26, 2010

Creed style...update on the boy...

The twins have turned 5, so it's time to update on their lives, their developmental milestones and of course: their style! Credence Paul is a party boy. He is adorable, sneaky, kind and smarter then we think. I say that because something very interesting happened last month. Friends were in town to visit: my old pal, Seth and his partner, Christopher. We had a wonderfully enlightened time. It just so happened to be at the end of the twins' 3 week vacation between Ecole summer camp and the start of the new school year. In other words: school was out and they were nuts. Creed was taking every opportunity to push all buttons, boundaries and manipulate everyone and everything in his path. So, one afternoon, while Evan, Seth and I went to visit my mom in the hospital - as she had recently broken her hip - Christopher and a friend of his stayed home with the kids. Now, Christopher is very, very wise, observant and has dealt with lots of kids so we were eager to hear what had happened while we were gone as the dynamics with our two kiddos are usually out of the ordinary.
I won't go into great detail but a power struggle ensued between C & C and Creed learned a good lesson as did we. When describing the events, Christopher started with: "First of all, Creed is extremely smart. Really, really smart." That stopped us in our tracks for several reasons. We have dealt with many doctors, educators, and therapists during the short 5 years of their lives and the message has generally been repeatedly: Zelda is so very smart and Creed is so cute and friendly. Wow, what had we been doing? We had let this sink in and begin to cloud our expectations and general view of our childrens' characters. Sure, we knew that both assessments were true - but to have already pigeon-holed them at age 5 in our own minds? It started me looking at Creed in a whole different light. But wait - it's not that I didn't think that Creed was smart, it's just that I had always heard that Zelda was the smart twin. Ackkk!!! I was horrified, embarrassed and felt like someone had just opened a door to my view of my own son. Thank you Christopher!
Anyway, Creed is in his 3rd year at Ecole. The twins' missed the cut-off for Kindergarten as their birthday was the 15th. He is the oldest in the class and it's great to look back on how far he has come. He understands everything in French and at times, even responds in his 2nd language. He loves to help the younger kids. He is still generally sweet and kind, despite turning into a rock-'em, sock-'em kind of boy. He runs, crashes and explodes into everything in his path. His imagination is exploding as well: "Mom, I am going to marry Millie. We need to go to Home Depot and buy paint and wood to build our house in Mexico. Dad, can I borrow some tools?" Or the other night, "Mom, I am so tired...but I still want to go to the Continental Club to hear music."
Creed wants to continue with ice skating lessons and expresses interest in taking ballet. It will be interesting to see how he'll handle contact sports as he becomes more aware of  the shunts in his brain. We have started talking about them and he is aware of the tubes in his head. He is able to talk about his vision and will tell us about his good eye(left) and his bad one (right). He's been potty-trained for 2 years now, pees standing up and never has accidents at night. He prefers to be naked when at home but still likes us to pick out his clothes for school. With that said, it's fun to pull out all of the vintage kids' clothes we have collected over the years - stuff we have been stockpiling - and then put them in when they arrive at the appropriate age.

Creed is getting tall and slim - like his dad. And he looks great in a pair of vintage jeans.

Friday, September 17, 2010

...and Now!

J'ai 5 ans..2 parties down...1 to go!

Z's favorite gift - a jewelry box of buttons and bracelets from Aunt Kia.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Presenting the amazing ToxoTwins...year 5!!

I do this every year...I relive their birth and the beginning of our lives together. My pregnancy was not fun but I ate like a demon, swam everyday and stayed chained to the daybed. Evan didn't want anything to go wrong. Despite various terrifying bouts with cramping and bleeding at weeks 6, 12, 14 and then at 26w5days, the babies were growing, kicking and playing games in my belly. I knew that Baby was a feisty girl and that Baby B, was a sleepy boy. (Not much has changed!)

On September 14th, we had a lovely rendez-vous with Katherine, a wonderful woman, who we signed up to be our post-partum doula. Friends with twins said she was the best and we should sign her on for the overnight shift. So, with a due date of December 17th and Dr Polon's thoughts that I would only make it to 34 weeks, we decided that she would come on in November when the babies would come out early. She would work 5 nights a week - on from 10:30pm - 8am, so we, the over 45 parents, could get some sleep!:)

I swam that afternoon at the lovely pool at the Austin Motel near our little house. At about 6pm that evening, I started bleeding - just a bit, with some slight cramping. My whole pregnancy had had scares like this, so I calmly called the amazing Dr Clive Polon. He responded in his wonderfully lilting South African accent, "Don't worry, sweetie. Keep careful watch and call me if it gets worse." So, I tucked myself into bed, the bleeding slowed down, but the cramping continued. Being a rather slim woman and carrying a bellyful of twins, I had almost constant menstrual cramping throughout the entire pregnancy up until this point. But I was worried and couldn't sleep. I made Evan stay up almost all night with me - quizzing him aloud from that month's Texas Monthly issue on Texas History. We sang, we talked, we called Dr Polon several times.

The next morning, Dr P said to come to his office right away. He took a look (I'll spare you the details) and said, "Sweetie, the babies are fine but something's not right. You're having contractions." My cramps were actually contractions! What did I know, having never been pregnant before!? I was admitted to Saint David's, hooked up to 3 heart monitors, one for each baby and one for me. They gave me a shot of magnesium sulfate to slow down the contractions - assuming they would abate and that I would be able to go home after a day or two - as well as a shot of steroids to assure that the babies' lungs could handle breathing on their own "just in case" they had to come out early. That was at 10am...Evan starting making the calls...Dr Polon checked in .... the nurses were on surveillance...the cramping 4pm, the nurse came in and saw me, "I know that look," she said, "You're in labor." She then proceeded to stick her fist into my uterus and I screamed in pain. "What the fuck are you doing?"

Dr Polon came in at 6:30 pm. He calmly told Evan to go home and get everything we needed - a camera, my bed pillow, whatever else, make the calls...the babies were to be taken out. I cried, "They're too small and not ready." I was a mess. He said that they were fine, but they wanted/needed to come out before something started to get worse. They weren't sure what it was...

My sister Shakti, my sister and brother-in-law: Claudia & Lee, friends Laura, Kat & Don, Victor & Laura: our Katrina refugees from New Orleans - they were all there...the C-section room was freezing. The wonderfully amazing epidural raced through my body and they strapped my arms down in crucifixion mode as my body started shaking uncontrollably. The sheet was put up across my chest and Evan stood holding my hand. I talked of Texas History with the anesthesiologist - he said that was a first during any of the deliveries he'd assisted. Dr Polon stood on my left and out came Baby B, my little boy who quickly became Baby A in the delivery order. Then came my sweet little girl, Baby A became Baby B: born second at 10:32pm. I cried to Evan, "Where are they? What do they look like?" He replied, "Long, grey squirrels."

There were 14 people in the delivery room, besides the delivery team, etc., there was an neonatologist for each baby, their assistants and then some...a real party! I remember Dr Polon holding up Zelda before they whisked her away - she lifted her tiny, skinny grey arm and her eyes were open. They had no names yet...
Zelda at 1 month old

Creed at 2 months old

Happy Birthday to my dear Toxotwins!!!