Monday, December 29, 2008


I have some VERY IMPORTANT BREAKING NEWS on my twins blog about baby bottles. If you have a baby in the house, read it! (If you don't have a baby in the house, read it; surely, you know someone who has a baby in the house.)

If you like me AT ALL, I mean even a teeny, tiny bit, do me a favor and post a quick comment -- not on this blog, on the blog.

Note: I don't mean to totally direct you, but just so you know, GotCrazyTwins is not just me. Okay, it is. But the world at large isn't supposed to know that.

So, if you comment (please comment), while I'd SO love you to say "Liz, you are SOOO great!" do me a favor and just comment about how helpful GotCrazyTwins is, how timely the info is, how there's nothing like it, etc.

Then you can send me a personal message and tell me how great I am, if you really feel the need.

Thank you ever so much! You can consider this a birthday gift. Even though my birthday was 2 weeks ago. You missed it, didn't you. That's okay. You have a chance to make up for it. Consider this the best birthday gift ever. Albeit belated.

Click Here to see the post on

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tagsies and Good Coffee

First of all, if you've not yet been to Nell Ann's Etsy store, Nifty Giftys, go there now. Don't pass go, don't collect $200 (unless you want to spend it all at Nell Ann's store), don't do anything but go to this site:

Nell Ann is selling these fantastic burp cloths and tagsies for both boys and girls, all with an African theme (or most, anyway, with an African theme). I ordered one for Nina and I must say that it's about 300 times better in person than it is in photos (and it was pretty great in photos). This is such a unique gift AND it helps support orphan care in Ethiopia.

Next, onto my morning with Ralph.

Ralph is the 80+ year old barista at the Starbucks in our local grocery store. I can't grocery shop -- and certainly not 2 days before Christmas -- without a latte in hand and thanks to Heather and Michael, I now have a gift card that will allow me 15-20 lattes depending on their size and whether or not I feel I need whip on any particular day. Most exciting.

Anyhoo, when Ralph scanned my Starbucks card and saw that I had $47 left, he said, "Wow! Nice gift card!"

"Yes," I replied. "From my fantastic peeps."

I think I lost him.

"You know," he continued, "The only thing better than using a gift card to buy yourself a coffee is..."

I seriously thought he was going to ask me to buy him a coffee. He should have. I would have told him to make it a venti AND add whip.

He pulled out a gift tin of Ethiopian coffee and said, "This precious gift tin of Ethiopian coffee is rare. It has sundried cherries in it."

"Is that good Ralph? Coffee with sundried cherries?"

"Well, ma'am, I don't know. But it sounds good. AND it's 20% off today."

"Wow!" I replied. "So how much does that make that fine tin of Ethiopian coffee with sundried cherries?"

"Well, today only," informed Ralph, "only $10!"

"Well, Ralph, that is most interesting," I noted. "You see, my daughter was born in Ethiopia."

"Really?" asked Ralph. "That is most interesting."

"I'll take it Ralph. You're a good salesman. Wrap it up!" I requested.

He leaned WAAAAAAY over so as to better see the card reader he needed to run my debit card through, and as he waited for it to respond, he looked up with only his eyes, looked at Grace, and inquired, "You mean that she was born in Ethiopia?"

"No, she was born in Illinois. My other daughter was born in Ethiopia."

"Oh, wow!" he exclaimed, slowly bringing himself again to an upright position. "So, what happened? Were you on safari or something?"

I paused. And then, I couldn't resist.

"Yes, Ralph, I was on safari and right there in the bush I had to hop off my elephant and deliver a child."

His eyes got as wide as prize-winning watermelons at the state fair.

"I'm kidding Ralph. She was adopted."

"Oh!" You could see him visibly deflate with relief.

"That's very cool!" he commented.

"Thanks!" I said. "And thanks for the deal on the coffee!"

"Sure thing," he said. "Just come back and tell me how it is. I need to know how that Ethiopian coffee with sundried cherries tastes."

You and me both, Ralph. I'll be sure to let you know.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nina Update

I realize I haven't posted pictures lately, so on this cold, rainy day (and by cold, I mean 50) here in Arizona, I did a little video of The Bean.

The child is HUGE. 20 pounds a couple of weeks ago. To put that in perspective, my niece weighs, like, 22 pounds and she's 7 months older than Nina! David says Nina's going to be the tallest Ethiopian woman ever. Of course she is. Because I'm the destined to be the shortest person in this family! She's also starting to "talk" which you can hear in the video.

Additionally, I got her ears pierced. For the record, I don't recommend this. I mean, I do, but I think that all moms who want their baby's ears pierced should have some sort of hired helper to take the child. It wasn't fun.

David, on the other hand, believes that any mother who would willingly put her child through this unbearable torture should have to endure it right there alongside her (screaming) child.

Needless to say, he did not accompany us.

But I think it was worth it, and this morning Nina looked at herself in the mirror, marveled over her beauty, and agreed. She said she's completely forgiven me and even thanked me.

(To be fair to those up-and-comers who are thinking of doing this but have not yet, while she cried for 90 minutes, after that it was a done deal. Hasn't so much as thought about it since.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Anyone who knows me well knows that my birthday isn't a day. It's a week. It's a national holiday.

I don't know where this comes from. Possibly the fact that my birthday falls 2 weeks shy of Christmas and, therefore, I've sought out ways to differentiate it from the "other" December holiday. Possibly it's simple self indulgence brought on by the fact that every day is about every one EXCEPT me, and I use this occasion to focus on myself and force everyone else to do the same (usually against their will).

Anyway, today is the day. And for the first time in (gulp) 36 years I could care less that it's my birthday.

"Why?" you might ask.

(Whether or not you asked, I'll tell you. Because it's my birthday. And I'll do what I want.)

Because yesterday, December 12, I got the best birthday present anyone could ask for or receive.

For all of you who said a prayer for my sweet Heather, you were heard! After one month in the hospital, Heather delivered a beautiful (and I mean BEAUTIFUL) baby girl yesterday.

After one month of not complaining even once. After ONE MONTH of dealing with shots and IVs and conflicting information and hospital food (which, admittedly, looked quite good even to me), and no fresh air, and about 7 (bad) channels on the TV, and no Starbucks, and a sugar-free diet for, like, 5 days, and infrequent showers, and only one visit from her precious dog Churchill, and her amazing husband sleeping on a rock of a bed.

And did I mention? She never complained. Not once. Their favorite nurse, Brittney, even told Heather: "I've had a lot of patients. And you are the ONLY one who NEVER complained. Not once."

There is nothing that Heather and Michael would not have done and would not do for this baby.

At 28 weeks, their sweet daughter was expected to weigh a little under 2 1/2 pounds. But, as only she could, she surprised us all weighing in at 3 lbs. 4 oz.

This little girl AND her mother defied all the odds presented to them. As statistics were given (I hate statistics), I had to continually remind myself that while xx% of cases turn out in an unfortunate way, SOMEONE has to make up the remaining xx%, no matter how small a number that might be.

And so they did.

Truly, the time from when I heard Heather was going into surgery to the time we knew she was out and that both Heather and the baby had come through with flying colors was the longest 1 1/2 hours of my entire life.

I don't have an emotional bone in my body, but when Michael walked into that waiting room in his navy blue scrubs (which he was sort of swimming in) and announced, "You guys, she's doing great!" even the most unemotional person on earth couldn't keep it together.

Welcome to the world Giovanna Rosemary! I cannot wait to get to know you. We are going to have crazy cool co-birthday parties for the rest of our lives (and I'll even let them be all about you because you're just that great).

I could not be more proud to know Heather and Michael and I could not be more blessed to have them in my life. To watch them go through every minute of this experience together was awe-inspiring. I learned a lot. I have never known a couple so supportive of one another or in love with each other. And that love is what created Giovanna and made her the fighter she is.

I slept better last night than I have in a long time. All is right with the world.

Happy Birthday to Me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Packages and Reality

It's been a week.

Jack is 7. One of Jack's seven girlfriends (one for every year of his life, apparently) moved out of the area last week. When Jack announced this to us he said, "Paisley's gone. I'm just a wreck!"

The doorbell rang a bit ago. Everyone went running as though Santa himself had rung. I understand. There's not much excitement around here. So when the doorbell rings, the very idea of just who it could be is enough to get any of the kids up from their Wii marathon for a moment or two.

Not Santa. Just UPS. By the way, I love how the UPS guys wear red Santa hats this time of year. Hey - I just realized, it's sort of like it was Santa at our door.

Anyhoo, the UPS Santa left 2 boxes.

When I brought them in, the kids asked, in unison, "What is that? Who is that for?"

"They're Christmas presents," I answered flatly.

"For who?" Jack asked.

"Whom," I corrected.

"Huh?" he replied.

"Nothing. They're for nice people."

"Nice people?" Jack asked.

"Yeah. You know, people who are nice to me. Those are the people who'll get the presents."

"Well shoot," responds Jack. "Guys, don't get excited," he screams to his siblings. "The presents are for Michael and Heather."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just another afternoon...

Today, Henry began reading the Harry Potter series (out loud, while Jack sat 8 feet away reading Wacky Wednesday. Out load).

Henry: "Professor McDougal went..."

Liz: "McGonagall"

Henry: "Oh. It's a hard word to announce."

Liz: "Pronounce."

Henry: "Dad, this is so mean. Listen to this. 'Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose.'"

George: "Is he bleeding?"


Jack: (running in the door with his remote control dragonfly): "This thing is out of juice."

George: "I want some juice!"

Liz: "No, he means..."

George: "But I WANT SOME JUICE!"

Liz: "George, we're not having juice."

George: "But Jack is! Jack, you're going to be on the naughty list."

Jack: "No I'm NOT George! My dragonfly is out of BATTERIES!"

Henry: "Professor McDoogal..."

Liz: "McGonagall"

Henry: "Whoever."

George: "JUUUIIIIICE!!!!"

'Tis the season to be...insane. Oh, wait, that has nothing to do with any particular season.