Please Support March For Babies!

We’re very excited to be a part of this year’s March For Babies. You can visit our personal webpage by clicking the image below if you would like to make a donation to the worthy cause and/or participate in the 5k walk with us in late April.

The Clan Dillingham goal is just $500. With our family contribution — as well as an extremely generous donation from our pal, Melanie — our team only has $350 to go. I urge you to please consider making any size charitable gift, since your donation will fund March of Dimes research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies to begin healthy lives.

Please help us give all babies a healthy start!

Funds are also used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care. As parents of twins who were nearly six weeks early and spent more than two arduous weeks in the NICU, Stephen and I know how important the work of this fantastic organization is. Thanks in advance for your support!


Our playgroup schedule is bustling. We have been attending one to two Moms Club activities a week, as well as having playdates with fellow Moms Clubbers: Miss Lorrie, and her kids, 5-year-old Haylie and 1 1/2-year-old Savannah.

We have also been meeting Miss Lorrie and the girls for our weekly Y outings. It has been nice for me to have another adult to chat with, and the boys look forward to hanging with Haylie and Savannah at Child Watch.

I took the boys to the Natural Science Center with GMOM earlier this month. From dinosaur replicas, displays of creepy-crawlies and live-animal exhibits indoors, to the petting zoo, huge tigers and a variety of tropical tree-dwelling critters outdoors, stimulation was certainly not in short supply. With the exception of the twins not wanting to leave a large train set early on in our adventure, the 3 Amigos did a great job getting around at the crowded facility.

It helped, too, that Miss Cristi took Houston under her wing, since he hit it off with her son, Gunner. That way, Houston and the other pre-K kids could move ahead at their breakneck speed, while Gabriel, Zeke and the other toddlers were able to slow down and digest everything at their slower pace.

Zeke (background) & Gabe demolish brick walls @ the Kids’ Museum.

The oft-talked-about highlight of our adventure was during the birthday celebration of one of the female gibbons, and her mate dangled from a branch and shamelessly pooped for all to see. Reverberations of “Monkey doo-doo … ooh, stinky … throw it” can still be heard throughout our house.

Dooky made for a memorable time at last Friday’s Moms Club gathering, as well. Even though many kids played outside, the 3 Amigos were the only ones to tromp through big wads of dog doo. While other moms relaxed, I hosed off their shoes and carried them to the front door before gracelessly exiting. It was actually pretty funny, but just oh so typical of life as crazy Clan Dillingham.

With all the warm weather lately, the boys have also been having lots of impromptu playdates with their neighborhood gal pals, Maddie, Dixie and Alyssa.

Family activities

Since we got Houston’s front bike brakes finally assembled properly, we’ve been practicing his biking a lot more. He is also swinging independently, although he still needs a little push start.

We recently took the 3 Amigos on their first real hike along one of the nearby lakeside nature trails. Considering we trekked nearly 3/4 of a mile, the dudes hung in there, although Gabriel required some nudging and Zeke begged to be carried at the tail-end of our journey. Next time, I think we’ll take the red wagon just in case.

Gabe (foreground) & Zeke lounge in the museum gardens.

The clan saw the bluegrass gospel band, the Rochesters, perform at our church. The twins thoroughly enjoyed the tunes, but Houston was surprisingly unimpressed. Despite the fact that bluegrass is his and little bros’ favorite style of music, I think Houston was disappointed that the band didn’t play “By the Mark,” a Gillian Welch song I’ve been performing for the boys most days before nap time.

Then last Saturday, Daddy took the kids for a wild outing at Bumper Jumpers, while I ran errands, got a haircut and had some Rebecca time. It was a much-appreciated break for me and a good practice for Daddy at handling the dudes in a crowded, active public setting.

Healthy endeavors

The kids’ dentist said that Gabriel should stop sucking a bottle while in his crib and Zeke needs to cease his thumb-sucking, unless we don’t care about paying for braces for two kids. We haven’t yet implemented his recommendations since Zeke is still being awakened on a nightly basis by that damned cough; I would just hate to subject him to his favorite soothing nighttime activity while dealing with that.

Zeke has an appointment with an “allergy, asthma and sinus care” doc later this week, so once we figure out his cough, we’ll then start kicking the twins of their bad bedtime habits.

Daddy and I took Gabriel and Zeke to their six-month follow-up with their behavioral doc. He is pleased with their speech progress and all other age-appropriate milestones. Diagnosis: the twins are right on track and perfectly normal, and we need not come back for another appointment.

Gabe takes the wheel, while Zeke sorts mail in this postal truck.

Two days later, Gabe and Zeke had their final shot in a three-part series of vaccines. They weighed 33 and 34 pounds respectively.


“Houston, what do you think God looks like?” I asked. “Oh, He has hair and wears a hat,” he said, adding that God’s headgear is probably similar to that of Thomas the Train’s boss, Sir Topham Hatt. Houston’s reply was so quick and confident that I felt as if he may be privy to something that I am not.

After all, kids are born into this world without any pre-conceived notions and biases, and Houston’s opinion made me so appreciate the wonder, innocence, purity and beauty of what it means to be a child.

I found Houston poking around on our computer and he confidently notified me: “I’m just checking the weather, Mommy.”

“Mommy, I’m smarter than you,” Houston declared. After I explained that that day had not yet come, although it unavoidably will, he said, “Okay, I guess I’m not smarter than you, but brothers are.”

Today Houston stated, “I love everything in the world, toys and games and books and food … but I don’t like poison ivy.” I’m just now recovering from a nasty outbreak of the stuff on my forearms, so I suppose the addendum was empathy kicking in.

Papa keeps the beat, while Stephen shows off his Rock Band chops.

Other notes 

The 3 Amigos are still sharing a room almost every night. (Check out a couple pics of Houston in temporary digs.) The transition has been so successful that we are starting to save for a bunk bed with steps to the top bunk, instead of a ladder, and a third pull-out trundle bed. Daddy and I very happy at the prospect of getting our computer out of the bedroom and back into an official home office again.

On a sad note, Granny and Grumps’ “Duke dog” recently went to doggy heaven. A brave and selfless Granny got the sweet Schnauzer put down due to some major health problems he was having. We love and miss you, Duke!

But on a happy note, Grumps and Uncle Dale have been dealing with some life-threatening issues lately, but both have pulled through and are doing well. We’re keeping up the prayers, now y’all just keep up the good fight!

Click the top photo of Gabriel and Zeke to check ’em out at the Children’s Museum and the above photo to view Gramsey, Papa and the fam jammin’ out with Rock Band.