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The Slice: Dozens of reasons to smile

If not exactly cheaper by the dozen, perhaps it can be said that certain birthdays really strike straight-up 12.

Spokane’s Sophia and Luca Paolino turn 12 on Wednesday. That’s 12 on 12/12/12.

The twins are the children of Joey and Lisa Paolino.

The dynamic duo, born in Phoenix, have been beating the odds since the start.

Their parents were not really on the same page about trying to get pregnant. But it happened.

As Ricky Ricardo might have said on “I Love Lucy,” someone had some ’splainin’ to do. (Let’s consider that a private story that ends happily and move on.)

“Since I had issues with carrying a pregnancy, we immediately went to see our doctor,” said Lisa.

They did an ultrasound.

“I saw right away the two small round things inside. Then the doctor announced ‘You are having twins.’ We were speechless, then I started bawling. It was a combination of happiness and immense fear.”

Her concern partly stemmed from the fact that her husband spent a lot of weeks working out of state at the time. Lisa knew she would be on her own with the parenting duties for long stretches.

Sophia (three minutes older) and Luca were born seven weeks early. Both newborns spent a few weeks in an Arizona hospital.

But today the sky’s the limit as the children prepare to enjoy their last year as preteens.

“Twins are a blessing I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” said their mom. “There were trying times … but they have warmed our hearts beyond measure.”

And it will be a long time before a birthday as numerically interesting as theirs can occur again.

Today’s Slice question: Do any of these make you wonder if you are not on the right home world? A) The angle of the sun. B) Certain letters to the editor. C) Spitting. D) Winter driving. E) The Inland Northwest electorate in action. F) People leaving dogs chained to a stake. G) Trying-to-be-zany exotic pizza toppings. H) Facebook. I) College coaches’ salaries. J) People getting started as tobacco smokers. K) Neck tattoos. L) Conversations in which people seem to think the term “Californian” describes just one kind of person. M) Other.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email I never thought it was a bad little tree.

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