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Archive for April, 2008

Ellie finally lost her Failure to Thrive Diagnosis! We can start weaning her from the 28cal/oz bottles and she can be nursed as often as I want when I'm home and she's healthy and perfect and best of all I don't have to bring her back to the doctor for SIX WHOLE WEEKS to be checked up on! Hopefully she'll maintain her terrific growth without the 28cal/oz fortification. In fact, actually, the doctor said he wants to see her growth slow slightly, because he doesn't want her curve to be so steep forever. She's done a great job with the catch up growth and now it's time for her to level out like the NORMAL BABY that she is!!

Hopefully she'll still do okay after we wean off the 28 cal food… the last time we dropped down off the 28 cal, she lost weight pretty quickly, but that was then, this is now, so I will assume that different circumstances will yield a different result. And if she doesn't do well with the drop down, we'll find another solution.

Ellie is 14 pounds, Abby is 14 1/2 pounds and Sam is just about 16 pounds. Ellie is finally on the charts in the 4th percentile for weight, which puts Abby in the 5th percentile and Sam in the 7th. None of them are on the charts for height yet, but they're getting there. The percentiles are rough approximations, incidentally, so take them with a grain of salt.

I had a great visit today with Jessica and her five little monkeys. Pictures to come in a subsequent post!

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A Good Few Days

It’s been a good few days. Yesterday, despite the fact that I had no nanny, no husband, and four kids to contend with, I was moderately productive. I got a shower (for the second day in a row! Whoo hoo!). The kids all got clean clothes. Laundry got done. Baby food got made. We even got out of the house. It was still a hard day, but it was a good day.

I had promised J that we WOULD get out of the house. So I started planning first thing in the morning a way to get out of the house. And after the first feeding of the morning, I thought, “Okay, we’ll leave soon…” Except, then Abby and Ellie fell asleep and I remembered that whoops! It’s naptime. And I put Sam down for his nap, too. Thanks, girls, for reminding me. Also, J needed breakfast, duh. So I made him breakfast and while I was at it, I thought I should take the opportunity to steam some carrots and bake some sweet potatoes for some baby food while J was engrossed in “Walking with Dinosaurs” and the babies were sleeping. SO, I stayed in the kitchen and worked on some baby food.

By the time I was done steaming, baking, and pureeing (hey, that takes a LONG time!), the babies were awake. You’d think we could finally leave the house, except everyone needed to be changed. And J needed socks and shoes. And the phone rang. And then… Oh right, then it was time for the babies to eat again. So I decided, because I’m an idiot, that TODAY would be a good day to experiment with actually FEEDING the babies this new solid food that I made them, because if not now, when? (We haven’t really experimented too much with solid food, just occasional tries here and there since our initial experiment, so it wasn’t a given that they’d get the food yesterday, but I figured I could live life dangerously)

We’re not really good at solid food eating yet, so it takes a really long time. By the time I got to Ellie, my poor girl looked like this:

Not to worry, she DID eventually perk up:

By the time we were done with carrots, it was time to feed actual, you know, MILK, since the carrots weren’t actual nutritional substance for the babies (not yet anyway) and they were positively STARVING (did I mention that feeding them solids takes FOREVER?). I fed them and then fed J and never did get around to feeding myself. Then I got emergency back up bottles ready just in case, got the diaper bag together, the stroller in the car, the car sets put in the car (Seth had taken them out when he’d needed more space in the van for something for some reason last weekened), got everyone loaded into the car at at 3pm, 6 HOURS after the thought of leaving my house had first crossed my mind, my four children and I finally left the house.

And I should mention this is the first time that I’ve taken all four children out of the house all by myself. And it’s a big monumental moment, right? So I should be going someplace totally cool and nifty right? But I couldn’t think of ANYPLACE interesting to go that could accomodate a big stroller, four kids and a tired mom. So we went, um, to…

Wait for it…

Target.

And now I’m not sorry about our forced quarantine for the last 6 months, because we are a giant walking FREAK SHOW. I can’t tell you the number of people who stopped to ask “Oh! Are they triplets? Are they identical? How many girls/boys? Do you have any other children? [please note, J was standing RIGHT THERE NEXT TO THE STROLLER] Isn’t it nice that you got it all done at once? [who says I’m done?] Are they natural? [who ever heard of an unnatural baby?] Were you doing fertility treatment? [who’s business is this???]” It’s unbelievable how many people actually asked such questions. MOST people, thankfully just said, “God bless you, what miracles you have” or something to that effect, but AT LEAST half a dozen people took it a whole lot further than that, which is so not okay. I had an agenda, people. Okay, not really, but I could have had an agenda! What if I’d had things to get done? What if I wasn’t just out of the house for the sake of getting out of the house? What if I truly had things I needed to accomplish and you just ruined my ability to do so? Gah!

There’s a piece of me that kind of enjoys being special, I’ll admit that. But most of me really HATES attention. Particularly from strangers. And I despise being the walking freak show. It’s hard enough walking around the neighborhood and getting all sorts of attention from people who KNOW us, but to get all that from people who DON’T know us? Oy.

Anyway, we survived. J got through Target with a new dinosaur, the babies got a couple cute summery outfits and a bunch of new take n’ toss bowls for packing up their food. You should see my freezer now:

Quite a contrast to back when my fridge was full of milk. The times they are a-changin’!

Tonight I pureed a bunch of broccoli. I’m on a roll!

We’ll see if they like it. I’m betting they won’t. Today, they expressed a definite preference for sweet potatoes versus carrots, even though Seth can’t tell the difference between the two in a blind taste test! They don’t like bananas much (I’m betting it’s the texture they don’t like), but we’ll keep trying it. We’ll try broccoli in the next couple days.

Here are a few more feeding pictures, from today:
Sam

Ellie

Abby

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A Good Few Days

It's been a good few days. Yesterday, despite the fact that I had no nanny, no husband, and four kids to contend with, I was moderately productive. I got a shower (for the second day in a row! Whoo hoo!). The kids all got clean clothes. Laundry got done. Baby food got made. We even got out of the house. It was still a hard day, but it was a good day.

I had promised J that we WOULD get out of the house. So I started planning first thing in the morning a way to get out of the house. And after the first feeding of the morning, I thought, "Okay, we'll leave soon…" Except, then Abby and Ellie fell asleep and I remembered that whoops! It's naptime. And I put Sam down for his nap, too. Thanks, girls, for reminding me. Also, J needed breakfast, duh. So I made him breakfast and while I was at it, I thought I should take the opportunity to steam some carrots and bake some sweet potatoes for some baby food while J was engrossed in "Walking with Dinosaurs" and the babies were sleeping. SO, I stayed in the kitchen and worked on some baby food.

By the time I was done steaming, baking, and pureeing (hey, that takes a LONG time!), the babies were awake. You'd think we could finally leave the house, except everyone needed to be changed. And J needed socks and shoes. And the phone rang. And then… Oh right, then it was time for the babies to eat again. So I decided, because I'm an idiot, that TODAY would be a good day to experiment with actually FEEDING the babies this new solid food that I made them, because if not now, when? (We haven't really experimented too much with solid food, just occasional tries here and there since our initial experiment, so it wasn't a given that they'd get the food yesterday, but I figured I could live life dangerously)

We're not really good at solid food eating yet, so it takes a really long time. By the time I got to Ellie, my poor girl looked like this:

Not to worry, she DID eventually perk up:

By the time we were done with carrots, it was time to feed actual, you know, MILK, since the carrots weren't actual nutritional substance for the babies (not yet anyway) and they were positively STARVING (did I mention that feeding them solids takes FOREVER?). I fed them and then fed J and never did get around to feeding myself. Then I got emergency back up bottles ready just in case, got the diaper bag together, the stroller in the car, the car sets put in the car (Seth had taken them out when he'd needed more space in the van for something for some reason last weekened), got everyone loaded into the car at at 3pm, 6 HOURS after the thought of leaving my house had first crossed my mind, my four children and I finally left the house.

And I should mention this is the first time that I've taken all four children out of the house all by myself. And it's a big monumental moment, right? So I should be going someplace totally cool and nifty right? But I couldn't think of ANYPLACE interesting to go that could accomodate a big stroller, four kids and a tired mom. So we went, um, to…

Wait for it…

Target.

And now I'm not sorry about our forced quarantine for the last 6 months, because we are a giant walking FREAK SHOW. I can't tell you the number of people who stopped to ask "Oh! Are they triplets? Are they identical? How many girls/boys? Do you have any other children? [please note, J was standing RIGHT THERE NEXT TO THE STROLLER] Isn't it nice that you got it all done at once? [who says I'm done?] Are they natural? [who ever heard of an unnatural baby?] Were you doing fertility treatment? [who's business is this???]" It's unbelievable how many people actually asked such questions. MOST people, thankfully just said, "God bless you, what miracles you have" or something to that effect, but AT LEAST half a dozen people took it a whole lot further than that, which is so not okay. I had an agenda, people. Okay, not really, but I could have had an agenda! What if I'd had things to get done? What if I wasn't just out of the house for the sake of getting out of the house? What if I truly had things I needed to accomplish and you just ruined my ability to do so? Gah!

There's a piece of me that kind of enjoys being special, I'll admit that. But most of me really HATES attention. Particularly from strangers. And I despise being the walking freak show. It's hard enough walking around the neighborhood and getting all sorts of attention from people who KNOW us, but to get all that from people who DON'T know us? Oy.

Anyway, we survived. J got through Target with a new dinosaur, the babies got a couple cute summery outfits and a bunch of new take n' toss bowls for packing up their food. You should see my freezer now:

Quite a contrast to back when my fridge was full of milk. The times they are a-changin'!

Tonight I pureed a bunch of broccoli. I'm on a roll!

We'll see if they like it. I'm betting they won't. Today, they expressed a definite preference for sweet potatoes versus carrots, even though Seth can't tell the difference between the two in a blind taste test! They don't like bananas much (I'm betting it's the texture they don't like), but we'll keep trying it. We'll try broccoli in the next couple days.

Here are a few more feeding pictures, from today:
Sam

Ellie

Abby

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Cry it Out?

I totally don’t get the “Cry it Out” method. I don’t get how people do it. How does it work? How do people stomach it? How long does it take for a kid to cry it out? I’m telling you, there is no chance in hell that “crying it out” would work with my kids. No. Chance. In. Hell. I can tell you this with near certainty because I spent today single-parenting under the worst possible circumstances. Let me back up…

Over the first days of Passover, I developed the most evil, insidious intestinal flu/bug/virus/horribleness known to humankind and most of it is a blur in my mind. I’m still recovering from it. Monday, my nanny told me that her brother-in-law finally awoke from his coma from the car accident that killed her sister. Consequently, she needed to go to Toronto immediately. Of course, no problem, no argument from me. Two hours later, she left to catch a plane. Thank heavens for those two hours, though. Then this morning (Tuesday) Seth left for Florida at, like, 5am. Honestly, I don’t know whether to threaten divorce or not. What do you think, is that a threat, or an offer he can’t refuse?

So here I am, four kids, no nanny, no husband, intestinal flu, and my golly it feels like all I do is feed babies all. day. long. Is this what my nanny does all day? Does it take less time to feed a baby a bottle? Actually, it turns out, it takes CONSIDERABLY less time to feed a baby a bottle than to nurse a baby. No WONDER M seems to have more time with the babies than me. How exactly is this fair? It’s getting harder and harder to nurse two at a time, because they push and shove each other, so it seems that by the time I’m finished feeding all three babies, it’s time to start over again.

Which leads me to my original point.

This evening I had fed all the babies and had about an hour’s reprieve when no one needed to be fed. I got J fed, threw some laundry in the washer, played with the babies, etc. Then Ellie started to cry. Since she’d been first in the previous round of feedings and since she nearly never cries, I figured she must be hungry. I picked her up and I said, “Ellie-Belly are you hungry, sweetpea?” And she looked at me, opened up her little mouth, leaned forward… and latched onto my nose and started sucking. I took this as a yes.

So there I was laying down in bed with her nursing her, and J was watching “Walking with Dinosaurs” next to me. When, unsurprisingly, Sam started crying. Because really, if one baby is being fed, and it’s not him, a great injustice is clearly being done in the world. And as his cries grew more desperate, Abby joined in the chorus. The wails grew so desperate that I began to wonder if they would simply “cry it out.” I couldn’t leave poor, desperate Ellie. She was so hungry and, after all, she had asked so nicely if she could please have dinner. She deserved to have a meal uninterrupted. And really, how long could Sam and Abby wail, right?

Little did I know. I had forgotten that the only one of my babies that has any patience whatsoever is Ellie. And that the only one of my babies who has ever stopped crying and fallen right to sleep is Ellie. And that the only baby who isn’t persistent is… you guessed it, Ellie. Not only that, but the few times that Ellie has cried and fallen asleep before I can get to her, I’ve felt unbelievably guilty for not getting to her in time. I can’t handle that kind of guilt. Crying it out is not for the faint of heart. Poor Ellie didn’t like all the screaming either, apparently, because the screaming kept distracting her. So eventually, I put her down in her crib and picked up Sam and Abby. And because I knew they were terribly desperate and wouldn’t possibly wait another single, solitary second, I gave them both bottles. And they calmed down. And then I picked up my poor, sleeping Ellie, and let her finish eating and then put her back to sleep too.

And everyone was in bed, asleep, by 6:30, just like normal. The only abnormal part about it is that normally I have an extra pair of hands at bedtime so no one has to cry while waiting for attention or food. So normally no one has to cry even for a little while, but tonight, Sam and Abby discovered how wonderful it is that they normally don’t have to “cry it out.” I honestly don’t know how other parents do it, becuase I’m fairly certain that Sam could cry for hours without crying it out.

Maybe other babies aren’t built like Sam? Maybe most babies are more like Ellie, who doesn’t cry much, and will generally quiet right down unless something really IS wrong? In any event, I’m not opposed to letting the babies cry sometimes. Heaven knows, I can’t answer their every whimper at the first sound of distress… I’ve got three babies to attend to and I can’t be everywhere at once. But I definitely can’t understand how I could possibly let them “cry it out” on purpose. Maybe I’m just misunderstanding the method. Because I’m telling you, if I hadn’t eventually picked him up and fed him, Sam would STILL be crying right now, four hours later. No joke!

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Cry it Out?

I totally don't get the "Cry it Out" method. I don't get how people do it. How does it work? How do people stomach it? How long does it take for a kid to cry it out? I'm telling you, there is no chance in hell that "crying it out" would work with my kids. No. Chance. In. Hell. I can tell you this with near certainty because I spent today single-parenting under the worst possible circumstances. Let me back up…

Over the first days of Passover, I developed the most evil, insidious intestinal flu/bug/virus/horribleness known to humankind and most of it is a blur in my mind. I'm still recovering from it. Monday, my nanny told me that her brother-in-law finally awoke from his coma from the car accident that killed her sister. Consequently, she needed to go to Toronto immediately. Of course, no problem, no argument from me. Two hours later, she left to catch a plane. Thank heavens for those two hours, though. Then this morning (Tuesday) Seth left for Florida at, like, 5am. Honestly, I don't know whether to threaten divorce or not. What do you think, is that a threat, or an offer he can't refuse?

So here I am, four kids, no nanny, no husband, intestinal flu, and my golly it feels like all I do is feed babies all. day. long. Is this what my nanny does all day? Does it take less time to feed a baby a bottle? Actually, it turns out, it takes CONSIDERABLY less time to feed a baby a bottle than to nurse a baby. No WONDER M seems to have more time with the babies than me. How exactly is this fair? It's getting harder and harder to nurse two at a time, because they push and shove each other, so it seems that by the time I'm finished feeding all three babies, it's time to start over again.

Which leads me to my original point.

This evening I had fed all the babies and had about an hour's reprieve when no one needed to be fed. I got J fed, threw some laundry in the washer, played with the babies, etc. Then Ellie started to cry. Since she'd been first in the previous round of feedings and since she nearly never cries, I figured she must be hungry. I picked her up and I said, "Ellie-Belly are you hungry, sweetpea?" And she looked at me, opened up her little mouth, leaned forward… and latched onto my nose and started sucking. I took this as a yes.

So there I was laying down in bed with her nursing her, and J was watching "Walking with Dinosaurs" next to me. When, unsurprisingly, Sam started crying. Because really, if one baby is being fed, and it's not him, a great injustice is clearly being done in the world. And as his cries grew more desperate, Abby joined in the chorus. The wails grew so desperate that I began to wonder if they would simply "cry it out." I couldn't leave poor, desperate Ellie. She was so hungry and, after all, she had asked so nicely if she could please have dinner. She deserved to have a meal uninterrupted. And really, how long could Sam and Abby wail, right?

Little did I know. I had forgotten that the only one of my babies that has any patience whatsoever is Ellie. And that the only one of my babies who has ever stopped crying and fallen right to sleep is Ellie. And that the only baby who isn't persistent is… you guessed it, Ellie. Not only that, but the few times that Ellie has cried and fallen asleep before I can get to her, I've felt unbelievably guilty for not getting to her in time. I can't handle that kind of guilt. Crying it out is not for the faint of heart. Poor Ellie didn't like all the screaming either, apparently, because the screaming kept distracting her. So eventually, I put her down in her crib and picked up Sam and Abby. And because I knew they were terribly desperate and wouldn't possibly wait another single, solitary second, I gave them both bottles. And they calmed down. And then I picked up my poor, sleeping Ellie, and let her finish eating and then put her back to sleep too.

And everyone was in bed, asleep, by 6:30, just like normal. The only abnormal part about it is that normally I have an extra pair of hands at bedtime so no one has to cry while waiting for attention or food. So normally no one has to cry even for a little while, but tonight, Sam and Abby discovered how wonderful it is that they normally don't have to "cry it out." I honestly don't know how other parents do it, becuase I'm fairly certain that Sam could cry for hours without crying it out.

Maybe other babies aren't built like Sam? Maybe most babies are more like Ellie, who doesn't cry much, and will generally quiet right down unless something really IS wrong? In any event, I'm not opposed to letting the babies cry sometimes. Heaven knows, I can't answer their every whimper at the first sound of distress… I've got three babies to attend to and I can't be everywhere at once. But I definitely can't understand how I could possibly let them "cry it out" on purpose. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding the method. Because I'm telling you, if I hadn't eventually picked him up and fed him, Sam would STILL be crying right now, four hours later. No joke!

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Unimaginable

My nanny, M, is the best nanny I could ask for. I’m sure there are nannies out there with more years of experience or more twin/triplet experience or whatnot, but there isn’t anyone else in the world who would love my children as much as she does. Every night when she leaves, she looks sorry to go. Every morning when she arrives, she says, “Good morning, Sammy, I missed you! Good morning, Ellie, I missed you! Good morning Abby, I missed you, too!”

On Monday mornings she comes into their room and eagerly picks them up and asks, “So what did I miss? What are they doing that’s new?”

She never asks me for anything, ever, but she was so excited when I bought her some children’s books in French (her native language) and eagerly said that yes, she would love to have more if I ordered more. She loves to read to the babies, she holds them all day long – never putting them down except to play. She enjoys their milestones as much as we do.

People are surprised that I hired someone who didn’t have previous twin/triplet experience, but I realized when I hired her that I didn’t have any triplet experience before I had my triplets, but I figured it out, right? She clearly loved babies and children and that’s what mattered to me. I’m glad THAT was my priority when I hired her, because she has turned out to be perfect.

M is from Senegal, but was born and raised in Paris. Her father and one brother is still in Paris. Another brother is in Italy and yet another brother is in Spain. Until recently, she was living nearby sharing an apartment with her sister. But about three weeks ago, her sister got married and moved to Canada to be with her new husband, leaving M alone here. On Tuesday, I suggested to M that if she’d like to, she could have the week of Passover off and she said that she didn’t want to take the time off because she would be bored by herself. I asked if she had any friends in the area and she said not many. “My sister is my best friend and she moved away.”

So I suggested that she go see her sister that week. M said she would think about it, and would get back to me. No problem, I said. Seth and I both have that week off and though Seth will be out of town for part of the week, I can handle it – she should go see her sister if she can. M was still hesitant but she said she would speak with her sister and let me know. Apparently she spoke with her sister on Wednesday and they thought maybe her sister would come down here to visit M that week, but they would talk about it more on Friday (today).

M never got to have that talk with her sister today because her sister was in a fatal car accident yesterday. She died last night and M got the news of her death this morning. I was already on my way home when I heard the news, so I got home as quickly as I could (no sense having another accident). M is absolutely shattered, as you can imagine. They are moving her sister to Senegal tomorrow, and I told her we’d help her go, but she says she doesn’t want to go. “I don’t want to see that. She was my only friend. I can’t see that.” She says she’ll be back on Monday. “The babies are the only thing that will make me feel better. I want to be here with them.” She went home today to go pray for her sister. I hope that she’ll change her mind about going to Senegal to be with her family – she has no one here at all and her sister was her whole world.

I don’t even know her sister’s name, which seems odd to me, but I realize I haven’t known M that long – only about two and a half months – yet I love her so much because she loves my babies like her own (but not in a creepy way). And now she’s hurting more than I can possibly imagine and I can’t do anything for her other than pray, I suppose. M’s sister’s husband is still in a coma. I’m honestly not certain whether it would be more tragic for him to wake up and find his wife gone, or for him to never wake up, so I will simply pray for the RIGHT outcome for him, whatever that may be.

I have the best nanny in the world, and now she is suffering unimaginable pain. I wish there were something I could do for her.

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Unimaginable

My nanny, M, is the best nanny I could ask for. I'm sure there are nannies out there with more years of experience or more twin/triplet experience or whatnot, but there isn't anyone else in the world who would love my children as much as she does. Every night when she leaves, she looks sorry to go. Every morning when she arrives, she says, "Good morning, Sammy, I missed you! Good morning, Ellie, I missed you! Good morning Abby, I missed you, too!"

On Monday mornings she comes into their room and eagerly picks them up and asks, "So what did I miss? What are they doing that's new?"

She never asks me for anything, ever, but she was so excited when I bought her some children's books in French (her native language) and eagerly said that yes, she would love to have more if I ordered more. She loves to read to the babies, she holds them all day long – never putting them down except to play. She enjoys their milestones as much as we do.

People are surprised that I hired someone who didn't have previous twin/triplet experience, but I realized when I hired her that I didn't have any triplet experience before I had my triplets, but I figured it out, right? She clearly loved babies and children and that's what mattered to me. I'm glad THAT was my priority when I hired her, because she has turned out to be perfect.

M is from Senegal, but was born and raised in Paris. Her father and one brother is still in Paris. Another brother is in Italy and yet another brother is in Spain. Until recently, she was living nearby sharing an apartment with her sister. But about three weeks ago, her sister got married and moved to Canada to be with her new husband, leaving M alone here. On Tuesday, I suggested to M that if she'd like to, she could have the week of Passover off and she said that she didn't want to take the time off because she would be bored by herself. I asked if she had any friends in the area and she said not many. "My sister is my best friend and she moved away."

So I suggested that she go see her sister that week. M said she would think about it, and would get back to me. No problem, I said. Seth and I both have that week off and though Seth will be out of town for part of the week, I can handle it – she should go see her sister if she can. M was still hesitant but she said she would speak with her sister and let me know. Apparently she spoke with her sister on Wednesday and they thought maybe her sister would come down here to visit M that week, but they would talk about it more on Friday (today).

M never got to have that talk with her sister today because her sister was in a fatal car accident yesterday. She died last night and M got the news of her death this morning. I was already on my way home when I heard the news, so I got home as quickly as I could (no sense having another accident). M is absolutely shattered, as you can imagine. They are moving her sister to Senegal tomorrow, and I told her we'd help her go, but she says she doesn't want to go. "I don't want to see that. She was my only friend. I can't see that." She says she'll be back on Monday. "The babies are the only thing that will make me feel better. I want to be here with them." She went home today to go pray for her sister. I hope that she'll change her mind about going to Senegal to be with her family – she has no one here at all and her sister was her whole world.

I don't even know her sister's name, which seems odd to me, but I realize I haven't known M that long – only about two and a half months – yet I love her so much because she loves my babies like her own (but not in a creepy way). And now she's hurting more than I can possibly imagine and I can't do anything for her other than pray, I suppose. M's sister's husband is still in a coma. I'm honestly not certain whether it would be more tragic for him to wake up and find his wife gone, or for him to never wake up, so I will simply pray for the RIGHT outcome for him, whatever that may be.

I have the best nanny in the world, and now she is suffering unimaginable pain. I wish there were something I could do for her.

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