Monday, June 29, 2009

Our week back east (with a yummy bonus!)

A brief look at our week in DC with The Esquire's family...

We spent a lot of time on the metro. I used that time to contemplate how I would ever manage public transportation with twins. Oldest Nephew, to the amusement of all the train passengers, spent the time trying to extract his wiggly, loose tooth. But fret not, he was hygienic about it--he always had a "blood staunching napkin" on hand. Those are his words.

Once in DC we spent a lot of time looking for this super hero but alas, this is as close as we got.

The nephews, Sister-in-law and I took a tour of the capital. Sadly, I have no pictures of Youngest Nephew. He is always moving and is much too fast for me to ever catch on film.

In addition to wandering around the great sites of our country's capital, we also had a chance to visit our first Hannah Anderson store (we've only seen the catalog before). The Esquire was hesitant "More baby clothes?" but then he saw this and changed his tune, "It's on sale, Baby Girl has to have it!" I think the pattern reminds him of our favorite detective, Mma Ramotswe.

The nephews and their parents went to Egypt for spring break (I cool is that) and they brought this back for the Twins! Who can resist a finger puppet in a head scarf!

We spent one day hanging out with my goddaughter and her brother, who are the same ages as the nephews, and their mom. While The Esquire organized a "Wipeout" style obstacle course in the backyard with the hose, swing set, slide and some boogie boards...I was inside the house collecting oodles of gorgeous hand-me-downs for the twins. Lots of seersucker for Baby Boy and crazy florals for Baby Girl. This picture does not do the gorgeous Michelle Obama-esque pink coat or cute little bikini justice.

But even better than the kool kids klothes, my bff gave me a box of BERGER COOKIES! If you are from Baltimore then you know what I'm talking about...and if you aren't, well, I'm sorry, you don't know what you are missing. These cookies make me Very. Happy.

It was a great week, lots of lovely, quality time with The Esquire's family and bonus visits with friends but as always, we had to return home. Here is The Esq at LAX waiting on our bags. I love the ad on the baggage carousel....

And speaking of our future.... our neighbors Kristine and Michael returned from Ethiopia with their daughters, A & T, on Saturday night. Funnily enough, our neighborhood's annual Summer Potluck was on Sunday and since they had only been here for 8 hours, A & T won the Newest Residents' Prize!

But here's what you've been waiting for... while in Ethiopia, Kristine and Michael visited with the Wonder Twins and got these unbelievably yummy footprints for us. That's our flat-footed-never-will-serve-in-the-military son's print on the right and his high-arched-Giselle-in-the-making sister's print on the left. I've placed a few random household objects around the prints to give you an idea of scale. My son's foot is smaller than my Costco card. Crazy.


PS--Today is the twins 3 month birthday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Greetings East Coast

No real news, just thought I'd say hi from the East Coast. We've had a great week with the Esquire's family and a few good bonus visits with friends. It's been fun hanging out with the nephews and hearing them talk about the twins. At least 50 times a day I will ask them, "who has the cutest babies in the world?" They will roll their eyes and dutifully say, "you do."

No news yet on when we'll get a court date. We still have our fingers crossed that we'll get a court date before the rainy season closure but who knows. So until we hear something for ourselves, we are putting all our focus on the countdown until Julie's courtdate.

Oh, and in the local paper today the twins' horoscope reads:

Your parents affect your day, whether or not they're actually there.

You'll act in a way you know you inherited from one of them.

It's your choice whether to continue on with this inheritance.

Seems poignant to me.

Heading back to LA this weekend... xoxo, Kat

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And we're off!

We are off to the East Coast for a week to visit with family...

And this cute little Wonder Twin care package
is off to Ethiopia with our neighbors, Kristine & Michael, who are headed there right now to pick up their DAUGHTERS! (Have I mentioned how seriously cute our neighborhood is about to become?)

Happy week to all...xoxo, Kat

ps--Baby Boy's onesie is covered in Pterodactyls in honor of the FU :-) Did you notice his little dinosaur claw socks? How cute is THAT! Baby Girl had socks with little cat faces on them but I just can't do the whole cat/Kat thing, so she's going with a Cindy Lu Who look.

Life since June 8th or Referral Week Rundown

WARNING: the following entry was written purely for myself. Since seeing our children's faces for the first time last week, my whole life has gone twisty. You see, since The Call, I have become extremely forgetful. And disoriented. And my sleeping habits have done a 180. And I've lost my ability to concentrate on anything for more than 3mins . On the plus side I have become more acutely aware of twin strollers, twin mattresses, The Minnesota Twins, Twin Peaks and of course, twins. So this entry is an effort to hold onto all that has happened in the past week before I get distracted by something else.

WARNING #2: our internet is down so I am posting this entry--which I wrote earlier this week--from my phone. I apologize in advance for any typos, editing mishaps, or dead-end
sentences you may find...proofreading from the phone is hard!

Monday June 8, 2009
This arrived in the mail

These arrived in our in box.
Despite the blanket cues: Cute girly feet on the left, manly boy feet on the right.

Tuesday June 9, 2009
We both wake up at 6am (after having only slept 2 hours tops). The day before I was hesitant to start calling lots of people until we heard back from the doctor we sent the medical records too. But apparently after 2 hours sleep I felt differently and so I immediately started calling our friends... I start on the east coast and make my way west with the timezones. When it is finally a decent time to call people in LA I call Julie first. I am happy to say that her reaction (simultaneous hysterical laughing and crying) made me think perhaps MY reaction to her referral two weeks earlier wasn't over the top. We sit on the phone and cry for awhile. I then send a text message to a few more friends and finally an email to this amazing group of people in LA that we've become friends with through the adoption process. During all of this The Esquire keeps calling me--when are you going to post it on the blog!? But I can't, not until I've told my cousin in NC. It takes awhile but finally I catch her. It was totally worth the wait to tell her myself.

Finally that afternoon I have a chance to run to CVS to print out the first pictures of our twins. When I announce this fact on Facebook, my godsister informs me that she beat me to it and printed out their photos yesterday! Here is the first picture of her kids and my kids all together!
The twins faces are blurred on purpose. We aren't allowed to post pictures or details until they are legally ours.

That night our amazing group of friends come over to help us celebrate. We were just so happy to have people to show the pictures too and drink champagne with...that's all we needed. But these amazing people brought gifts!
Hip little clothes

Teeny tiny shoes ready to run with amazing pull toys

Also gorgeous flowers, and diapers, and champagne, and books and a BRISKET!

I don't know about anyone else but that gathering was a fabulous blur to me :-)

Weds Jun 10, 2009
Once again I am wide awake at 6am. Which is fine because Texas is two hours ahead of us so I can go ahead and call Gladney to officially accept the referral!

I spend the day driving to the Valley with my friend Dana. She has bought a super cool dining room table at LA Modern Auction and needed to pay for it. We spent an hour or so wondering around the warehouse looking at the most amazing vintage, mid-century furniture that 1) is no longer practical now that we have twins on the way and 2) is no longer affordable now that we have twins on the way! Dana's youngest daughterNaima hasn't really been all that into me lately, she's going through that 9-month-old-mommy-attachment phase. But on this day, she was my friend again. I think she could tell I was part of the Mommy club now and could be trusted.

Thurs June 11, 2009
6am...wide awake. The Esquire is not totally happy to have me sharing his "morning time" every day. For him, 6-8am (pre-referral) was a time for him to read all the newspapers and make his crazy oatmeal concoctions-it was leisurely and quiet. Now that I'm up every day at 6am his mornings are full of "Should we get stand alone high chairs or the hook-to-the-table versions?" "Do you think our kids will be lactose intolerant?" "How long can I get away with dressing them alike?" "What if our kids don't likeCheerwine?' you know...the important stuff.

That afternoon I meet our friend Maureen and her adorable daughter Tessa for a onesie shopping spree.
I am trying to get a package together to send to Ethiopia with our neighbors next weekend. Turns out finding long sleeve, long legged onesies in Los Angeles in June proved to be one of the hardest aspects of this adoption process. It was great to shop with Maureen though--she was totally excited and bubbling over for us and at the same time, as a mom of two, she was full of advice on what to buy or not to buy for the twins. Theseluvies are Maureen approved.

The Esquire was a bit shocked by all the shopping bags I brought home. He actually asked if I was going to be "one of those moms" who goes crazy buying clothes. I responded with, "so I shouldn't buy things to clothe our children but you can continue to buy vinyl read-along records even though we don't OWN A RECORD PLAYER!?" Yeah. He got lawyered.

Friday June 12, 2009
Up at 6am. Of course.

My brain is becoming more and more loosey-goosey. When Popi's mom calls me from the Emergency Room in Connecticut and needs me to call her husband who is in Greece...I actually have to keep reminding myself to concentrate on what she's saying so I can be helpful. This from a former Stage Manager! It's kinda of disgraceful! (fyi-Popi's mom is fine and her daddy caught an earlier flight home.)

I try to cook dinner for us....comfort food: grilled salmon, sauteed spinach and instant mashed potatoes (hey-I said it was comfort food!). In my new easily distracted frame of mind I have to make the potatoes twice (yes, I ruined instant potatoes), I over cayenne the spinach, and I almost ruin the salmon by trying to do a quick defrost (because, of course, I forgot to set it out earlier in the day.)

But to be fair...I was distracted for good reason. Someone sent us new photos of the twins. A friend of a friend knew someone in Ethiopia RIGHT NOW so she asked them to visit our kids. It was amazing to look at these photos and think "this is what our kids looked like TODAY!"

That night we watch a movie in the living room. Half-way through it The Esquire goes to get the picture of the twins I have taped to the fridge. When I ask what he's doing he says, "I wanted the twins in here with us."

Saturday June 13, 2009
Still waking up at 6am. And while I love having an extra 2 hours a day to think about my kids, I miss my morning sleep! People keep saying this will help me get used to waking up with kids but really? I mean, they aren't going to be here for at least another 3 months...can't I sleep late until then?

I still can not concentrate on anything that is not twin related for more than 3 minutes. Here is a typical hour for me post-referral-call: I'm in my bedroom getting dressed but my shirt has a tag that bothers me so I go to the office for scissors to cut it. As I reach for the scissors I notice a magazine folded to an article I've been meaning to read. So I take it into the living room where I notice the clean laundry still sitting on the sofa waiting to be folded. I manage to fold two shirts before I see a dirty glass on the coffee table. I take the glass into the kitchen where I see the watering can. As I make my way around the house watering the plants I see the two folded shirts. I take them into the bedroom and think, "I might as well get dressed" I pick a shirt, only its tag bothers me so I head into the office to get scissors.... At the end of the hour I have folded 2 shirts, watered 2 plants, read 3 paragraphs and am wearing jeans and my pajama top. Again, I know my days will be even more crazy and scattered when there are two little ones here...but does the craziness have to start so soon!

We spend the weekend printing more copies of the twin's photos and fielding congratulations emails, phone calls and FB messages. It really does seem like the whole world was waiting for us to get the call.

Sunday June 14, 2009
We go to hear our friend Dominic's band play at this cute little street fair being held to raise money for MS. Turns out our whole little LA Ethiopian Adoption gang shows up. We are nothing if not supportive of each other. (sidenote: we need to come up with a name like The Habesha Huggers...or maybe something cooler)

This was the first time we had heard Dom's band, The Quarter After, play and it turns out he is quite the rock star. All the girls were entranced with him.

At one point I was sitting there - surrounded by cute babies and new good friends, listening to amazing music, while overhearing my sweet husband tell someone "my son has the best smile" - and I actually got all teary eyed. I was SOfreakin' happy at that moment. All I could do was sit there grinning like an idiot.

Afterwards we all went back to LT's house for lovely cool beverages and some play time. Once again I was just struck by sheer happiness. I looked around at this little community we have been blessed enough to find and it is so easy to picture our twins here too. They will be the babies of the group but I can already tell they are scrappy so I'm not too worried. They will grow up surrounded by playmates who also have funny looking parents. Joy is flowing through my veins. John Denver could walk up singing "The Eagle and The Hawk" and I still could not be any happier than I am watching these kids play.

It's now been nine days since we learned who our children were. Every hour of the day I think "9 days ago I had no idea" or "9 days ago I was just about to get the call" or "7 days ago we accepted the referral" ... suddenly life is measured against June 8th. Seriously, does life get any better then this?

Epilogue: We have now been staring at the twin's faces for thirteen whole days and while my crazy baby brain hasn't gotten any better (Trying to drive to the Federal Building in downtown yesterday, I somehow ended up in Alhambra!) I have started to sleep in until 7am...progress! The main thing that has changed is that every day we fall more and more in love with these little buttercup faces. I can't wait to show them to you... come on court date!!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The it all went down.

Wow. What a week and a half. Last Monday was such a blur...I want to try and get down as many details as I can before I forget. Plus, reading the "We Got The CALL" blogs are always my faves...

Monday June 8, 2009
Every morning I wake up around 8-8:30am and my first thought is "I wonder if today will be The Day." But for some reason, I didn't think that last Monday. Every morning as The Esquire tells me goodbye he always jokes, "So call me if we get the referral"but for the first time in months he didn't say that. In fact, I didn't think about our adoption a single time until around 10am when I was checking Facebook and saw that both Harmony and Julie had their hopes that we'd get The Call today. My first thought on reading those: oh great, you just reminded me!

We had been in the #1 spot on the unofficial list for a week but weren't too excited about it because the family before us sat in that same spot for over a month. I wasn't in a sad, bitter mood but I did relish the few instances when I was able to forget we were waiting.

I had errands to run and ended up at Anthropology going through their sale stuff. My arms were full of 50% off white shirts in various styles ... cause you can never have to many white shirts... when my phone rang. As I have done for the last 3 months, I had the fleeting thought of "what if this is the call." But that was it... no chills or intuition. Even the number didn't jar me.
Notice my screen saver? :-)

"Kat, it's Mary. Calling from Gladney." At which point she paused. Something I'm sure she's learned to do with these kind of calls.
"Are you kidding me?"
Mary starts laughing, "no, this is The Call you've been waiting for."
"Seriously. Are you kidding me?!"
I am so completely lost and confused and freaked that I just start jabbering away.
"Ok. Ok. OK. um, I need to call The Esquire. Yeah. I should call him. I'll call him and then I'll call you back. OK? Yeah, I'll call him and then I'll call you."

And then I hung up on her. I've been waiting for this call for 9.5 months and I hung up on her.

I see a salesgirl, hand her my armload of white shirts and declare with a wide-eyed look, "I'm sorry about the mess but my Adoption Consultant just called and I have a baby!" For the record, I have NEVER said the phrase 'adoption consultant' before in my life.

I walk to the front of the store and call The Esq at work. As he answers I try to think of a clever way to tell him the news. Here's what I came up with:

"Mary just called."
"Are you kidding me?" Apparently we are a one-note family.

We agree to meet at home so we can call Mary together.

Here's my favorite part of the story: I couldn't resist calling the Esquire again as soon as I got to my car...only to discover he was already driving out of his parking garage. Here's the thing that cracks me up-- I only had to walk across a little sidewalk and up 2 flights to get to my car. But he had to close down his computer, gather his stuff, tell his partner that he was leaving for the day, take an elevator down 53 flights and then another elevator down 3 flights and then wait for the parking guys to hand him his keys and yet somehow, he STILL managed to get on the road before me. Do you think he was excited?

In the end, of course, I got home before he did. Not knowing what to do with myself, I changed shirts 3 times. What do you wear to meet your kids for the first time?!?! I also set up the little video camera so we could save The Call for posterity. It's hilarious...not that flattering but I wouldn't give it up for the world. I also will not be sharing it with the world.

I called Mary to let her know we would call her back for details in about 1/2 an hour when The Esq got home. I told her how surreal it felt to know that tonight we would go to bed knowing who our children were. And that The Esq. thought it was crazy to realize this was our LAST 30 minutes of NOT knowing who our children were. She laughed in this odd way that made me think, "hmmm, it wasn't supposed to be funny."

Finally! The Esquire arrives! I'm sitting on the front step waiting for him. He asks, "any last guesses what it will be?" Inside I'm feeling that it's going to be two but I don't say that out loud so if I'm wrong he won't worry that I'm disappointed.

Mary and The Esquire make small talk for a moment about the traffic and then finally she says, "So, I'm not sure what you already know...Kat I've heard you say "children" a lot..."

Now here's an interesting thing...I remember this moment completely different then the video shows it actually happened. I remember thinking "how would we know anything?" In my memory we are both sitting there like "huh?" But on the video my eyes grow wide and my hand shoots up to my mouth in surprise. So apparently even if my mind had no idea what she was inferring, my body did. Mary then says that life changing sentence:

"...we have twins. Two months old. A boy and a girl. Twins."

It's the moment you wait for and dream about but no amount of blog reading can prepare you for what that moment is really like. We just laughed and shook and kept reaching for each other's hands. Amazing. It was amazing. When Mary went to give us details the only piece of paper I could find was a little scrap that had Julie's children's names written on it.

When we hung up we just sit there. Drinking it in... Twins. We had wanted siblings but had basically been told point blank it wouldn't happen. And yet...Twins. It happened.

We call our families living in the US with the good news first. We have to wait 5 hours until it's 7am in Muscat, Oman to call The Esquire's sister and her family. Our 9 yr old nephew answers the phone and says his mom is out running. Damn her healthy lifestyle! We impatiently wait another 45 mins and then call them again. Our 7 yr old nephew gets on the phone and asks, "did you get The Call?"
On speaker phone sharing the crazy good news with loved ones.

We make 3-4 more calls to special people--reactions vary from "I KNEW it would be today" to huge massive sobbing that causes husbands to come running in fear. One friend calls us back and is screaming so loudly in the phone that I can't actually tell who it is so I just make polite small talk for 5 mins until she calls down and her voice becomes recognizable.

Then we run over to tell our good friends who live close by--they are the only people we get to tell in person. On the way over I tell The Esquire to "play it cool, act like we are just dropping by, no big deal." But within .5 seconds of seeing them in the back yard I thrust the picture of the twins at them. Patty's reflexes kick in and cause her to start crying but you can tell she doesn't exactly know why. Her husband Loren looks like this, only it's from Happiness and Shock rather than fear and aftershave.
And their son, Super Max, looks at the twins with interest for a few minutes and then asks if we want him to cook us a play-dough dinner to celebrate. We say yes.

Back at home I remember the Referral Gift I have had hidden in my closet for over a year. Of course I'm too excited to save it for a Father's Day gift...I have to give it to The Esq. NOW!

ok, so it's a size 2T...and by now the Strand probably has 22 miles of books...but still, isn't it cute?

And that night not only did we go to bed knowing who our children were, but we also got to go to bed clutching their photos.

xoxo-Kat, mom to twins

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Yesterday, The Esquire proved (once again) that he is the wittiest, sweetest, most wonderful husband in the world.
You see, yesterday afternoon he created a new file on our computer's desktop called Twinfo.

This is proof of his wit because, well, it is full of info about our TWINS.

This is a sign of his sweetness because he keeps opening it up to gaze at the pictures of our son and daughter.

This is a sign of his wonderfulness because while my first thought when we learned we had a referral for 2 months old twins was simply HOLY HANNAH! - his first thought was to create a safe home for all their info.

Yup. Proof that The Esquire rocks in every daddy-to-be way.

June 8th... my, that was a good, good day.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wisdom found in the most unlikely places

Sometimes the Universe knows what you need to hear before you even know that you have a need. Did you follow that?

The Universe spoke to me last weekend in a new hip store called Opportunity Unity Workshop. Sadly, they don't have a website so I can't show you all the cool t-shirts they silkscreen right there in the store. But trust me, they are all works of art.

You know, the tag in the back of most shirts, the one that usually tells you where the garment was made? At Opportunity Unity Workshop, the labels are the size of dollar bills and are bright orange with the wisdom of the ages printed in bright turquoise....

I OPEN EVERY DOOR. Most of the Shadows of this life
are caused by standing in one's
own sunshine.
Yesterday ended last night.
Every Day Is A New Beginning.
Learn the skill of forgetting. And move on. WITHIN OUR
If Opportunity Doesn't Knock, Build A Door.

I know, right? All this wisdom printed on a clothing label and yet no mention of the company's name. Craziness. But what wonderfully wise craziness.

You just never know where you'll find the words that you need to hear most...


ps--Congratulations to our neighbors Kristine and Michael, they passed court today and will travel to pick up their daughters on June 20th. This is going to be one stinkin' cute neighborhood soon!