Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Girls' Night Out

Yay! I got out! I met up with my old (meaning "previous", not "aged") college roommates last Sunday for a little shopping and a LOT of talking. We had dinner at a place called The Sundried Tomato in San Juan Capistrano - the perfect location, since it's halfway between West Covina and South San Diego. Even though we're spread out in SoCal, we still manage to meet at least twice a year. From the left:
Cecilia - So festive in her green blouse, she is currently "between jobs" and searching for something in marketing. That means "very qualified" if your company is hiring.
Me - Finally, a reason to shower and put on makeup.
Rachel - Stay at home mother of 2, we have lots of mommy stuff in common without even having to say "spit up".
Caris - World traveler and missionary, if you need to have something translated to or from Chinese, give her a ring (or "ling", in Chinese).
Denise - The beaming newlywed, she hosted Thanksgiving with her in-laws and cooked her first turkey. There should be a "Congratulations" card for that...!
And the one roommate missing is Maisie, whose job at Frito Lay in Dallas has us all anticipating her return visit for the holidays with gifts of every kind of potato chip you can imagine.

After being friends for around 15 years (and surviving living together), I cherish the friendship I have with my roommates. They are blessings to me! Merry Christmas, ladies! Long live Old People's Crazies! ;-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Check "Mii" Out

So we got a Wii in mid-October and everyone in this house over the age of 3 has been playing it and enjoying it practically everyday. For those of you unfamiliar with the sports games, the Wii keeps track of your skill level each time you play. I know that I complain a lot about how busy my day is, but today I decided to jump in on all the fun Jonah and James were having after lunch. I hogged the game and played tennis for half an hour.

There are lots of things I'm proud of as a stay-at-home mom: Jonah is reading at almost a 2nd grade level, James knows his alphabet and all his letter sounds, the twins are healthy at 8 months old and my husband is a godly and faithful husband and teacher. But today, just today, all that pales in comparison to what I've achieved. I'm officially at PRO level in tennis on the Wii with a skill level of 1074.

So don't be jealous of the fact that sometimes I get to sleep in, or stay in my pajamas all day. Be jealous of my tennis skillz!! ACES!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Video of the Week

Apologies for any offensive videos from the last "Video of the Week". It was only supposed to be clips from "The Facts of Life", but I think there may have been other videos that were, let's just say, of another orientation. Sorry. Check out this week's video, though. Makes me glad I minored in Spanish Literature in college becuase I can understand everything this guy says. As they say in Jerry McGuire, "You had me at 'Hola'".

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Bedtime is now a circus. I usually put one of the twins to bed while Justin holds the other twin while putting Jonah and James to bed. Then I get the twin from Justin and put him to bed. Then I go into Jonah and James's room to say goodnight to them. Tonight's conversation:

Me: Goodnight, James.
James: Mama, why did the mouse throw the acorn down to the grass?
Me: What?
James: Why did the mouse throw the acorn down to the grass?
Me: Did you see this in a book?
James: No, on TV. Why did the mouse throw the acorn down to the grass?
Me: Why?
James: 'Cause that's why he's short!
Me: ??????????????????

Monday, November 5, 2007

Oh, they're fine!

In order to finally post another entry (I know it's been a while), I'm letting Jonah and James run around the house, through the forbidden living room, and allowing Jack and Jed to cry in their baby chairs. Negligence? I think not. Necessary? Yes. That's how I remain sane from day to day. As long as no one's going to get hurt (OK, no guarantee of that with the two older ones dodging doors and each other), I just have to let some things go to have a moment to gather my thoughts or eat or breathe or, in this instance, give an update. Jack and Jed just turned 7 months old - PTL! They love rice cereal, applesauce, peas and carrots (all in pureed form, of course), and they are sleeping through the night! God is so good - His blessings are abundant with four healthy sons and a loving husband, too! Now, if He can only get Rolfe, our 100 lb. German shepherd, to stop eating the fertilizer in the backyard, then life would be REALLY swell. OK, moment over.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Time Out

Last Sunday Justin and I gave ourselves a "time out" - actually, it was made possible by my brother and sister-in-law, who offered to babysit all 4 boys so we could get a much-needed break. The last time the two of us went out together was 3 1/2 months ago, so we were SO looking forward to it! After a nice relaxing lunch at Islands, where we watched half of the Chargers v. Raiders game, we went and saw The Kingdom. I must admit that I really wasn't interested in seeing it, and I had alternative plans of taking a nap in the theater if I didn't like it. Well, it turned out to be much better than I thought. The underlying story of family beneath the main plot of good v. evil was what appealed to me. Though the acting is good, I had to get past the violent scenes and language. It made me appreciate our life here in the U.S. and I actually looked forward to coming back and picking up our sons.

So now it's been 3 days since Justin and I had our time off - I was ready for another break 2 days ago.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Spy

Remember that game "I Spy" you played when you were little? Well, Jonah and James have reached the age where they "play" it in the car:

James: I spy something that is!
Jonah: The sky! The sky is blue!
James (mumbling to himself): Something that is blue... Yes! The sky is blue!

Then just today:

James: I spy something that is--
Jonah: --white! Something that is white!
James: Yes, white!
Jonah: The car! The car is white!
James: Yes, the car is white! You got it, Jonah!

I just love to sit back and listen.

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever come home after a long day at work and wondered why food is covering the floor, dinner isn't ready or your wife has that "Thank God you are home!" look on her face?

Today, Josephine took Jonah and James out, did some errands and then got a hour away from home by herself. I spent lots of quality time with the twins. It was a good day but a busy one.

Days like this help me appreciate my wife and moms everywhere.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

1/2 year old!

We made it - with lots of prayer and by the grace of God Jedidiah and Jack are six months old today! Let's see - smiling and laughing: check. Holding heads up: sorta. Rolling over: check. Grasping objects: check. Mouthing objects: check. Sleeping through the night: nope. So far, so good, I suppose. I think our favorite new sound is Jedidiah's impersonation of a Sleestak from Land of the Lost (think heavy saliva-filled breathing). Jed can also frequently be heard entertaining himself in his playpen by practicing his vowel sounds. Jack is more content staring at his hands, which are often clenched into fists. Hopefully the coming weeks will find them sleeping until dawn and entering into the world of solid foods. Rice cereal, here we come!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Messin' Around

I realize it's been a few weeks since my last entry - Jack and Jedidiah still aren't sleeping through the night :-( and they're more active during the day! Since they tend to wake each other up, we've had them sleeping in separate rooms for the past few months. Jedidiah sleeps in a playpen in the office and Jack sleeps in a crib in their room. A friend said we're defining their preferences, that Jed will be the one who prefers camping and that Jack would rather stay at the Ritz. Maybe that's true, but at least when they're awake they get along well - for the most part. Sometimes I put them in the same crib or on the floor for "together time", and they're fine until one starts touching the other one too much. It's not always the same baby who does the bugging, but eventually one gets tired of the other and starts complaining. I think that's what happened in the womb. There must have been a lot of "He touched me!" or "He's on my side!" complaints in utero that went unresolved, so they just said "We've had enough-let's just get out of here!" That's my theory, anyway.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

C'mon get happy!

Sometimes God gives me glimpses into the future. Having four boys is certainly challenging, but since Jack and Jedidiah have started to smile and laugh, the good Lord is starting to make things more fun. Now Jonah and James can talk to the babies and entertain them more, and before I know it they'll all be jumping on the bed, screaming and pouncing on each other and having a great time. Hopefully by that time they'll also be taking out the trash and cleaning the bathrooms (at least the older ones). That'll be the day when you see us at church or at Costco or at the mall - mommy and daddy and all the little ones following behind - hence "The Partridge Family" reference (BTW, I'm first in line and Justin is #2. No, we aren't expecting a 5th child - are you MAD?!). That's pretty much the only thing we have in common with the Partridges - we don't have plans for a musical tour or a multicolored bus, but I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to get my hands on one of those sweet burgundy velvet suits.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Down and Dirty

Everyone knows that being a stay-at-home mom has its highs and lows. Well, I've hit an all time low. So low, in fact, that I'm sure you faithful readers of our blog will make a comment the next time I hear from you. I really can't believe it myself. After all these years of staying home, I don't think I've done it before. You'll question my ability as a mother, wonder how I sleep at night, and think twice the next time you see me. You'll think "No! Her?" Yes, me.

So here it is: I haven't showered for TWO days. No, we didn't go camping. Our water hasn't been shut off. No intruder came into our home and forced me to NOT shower. The bathroom door wasn't mistakenly locked and it's taken this long for the locksmith to open it. No, I just haven't bathed. The past two days have been pretty routine - there's a 25% chance that one of my sons is awake and needs something, and in the rare moment when they're all asleep, I want to sleep. Believe me, it's not such a difficult decision to make, deciding whether to shower or sleep. When you're home most of the time, you talk on the phone, you e-mail, but you don't have to see the outside world for days. My hair has been in a ponytail since the last shower and I've resorted to wearing a headband, too, to keep the really stray hairs away from my face. I've been wearing my eyeglasses (except for a short contact lens stint yesterday), and changed in and out (in favor of pajamas) of the same pair of shorts. Only my face has been washed and my teeth brushed- that's it. Now I can't believe I'm sharing it with you all - the more I describe it, the ickier it sounds. Could this be why the kids haven't hugged me lately and the dog runs away when I come out to feed him? Is Justin filing for divorce as I type?

Ah, a quiet house. It's 10:30pm and all the kids have been put to bed. Hold on - they're all asleep? Maybe I can finally take a shower! Then again, maybe I'll just sleep and the shower will have to wait one more day...

Monday, August 27, 2007


This year has been a fruitful one in terms of babies born to the teachers at Manzanita Elementary, where Justin teaches 4th grade. There are only three male teachers on staff (they call themselves "MENzanita"), and all their wives were pregnant at the same time. From left to right: Cory and Tara (OK, Tara is on staff but Cory was a substitute teacher a lot) became Devin's caregivers in June, Chris and Kacie had Makenna in June, Jason and Lynda had Mason in May, and our twins were born in March. In front, C&K's son Mason, James and Jonah, and J&L's daughter Macie. We all had dinner together at our home last week, and it was like one big happy family. We talked about our own kids and each other's kids in between feeding and holding and wiping our own kids and each other's kids. We're trying really hard to convince the other couples to have more children. After all, you CAN'T just stop at two!

"MENzanita: We know how to make babies!"

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mommy's Vacation Day

Josephine is taking a much-deserved day off. As of 12:01 a.m. she was off the clock (and sleeping soundly). Since my favorite show is 24, I have decided to chronicle my day ala one season of 24. If you are not familiar with the show, each episode is one hour with each season a total of 24 hours in the life of counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer. He saves the world. My day will not be as exciting - no nuclear bombs to disarm but I did disarm one big poopy diaper.

The Following Takes Place Between...

12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Everyone is sleeping

1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Everyone is sleeping

2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Everyone is sleeping

3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Jack wakes up and is fed 2 ounces of Similac. He goes right back to sleep after a quick burp.

4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Everyone is sleeping.

5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Everyone is sleeping.

6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Jedidiah wakes up and is fed 2 ounces of Similac. He goes back to sleep. Trash trucks roar down the street collecting rubbage. Jonah wakes up and then crashes on the couch.

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Mommy wakes up confused because she did not have to feed the twins. James wakes up and joins Daddy and Jonah on the couch.

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Joann visits and gets to hold Jedidiah. Jack is still sleeping. Jonah and James eat cereal and constantly interrupt mommy and daddy.

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Jack wakes up - Time to play. Jed is still up.

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. School time for Jonah and James. Jonah works on subtraction while James colors. Jack hangs out in the chair. Jonah and James push each other around in plastic boxes. Later in the hour James trips and falls right on his nose. Ouch! Jack finally eats. Jed finally goes to sleep. Mommy leaves with a gigantic smile on her face.

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jack takes a nap. Jed wakes up around 11:30 and eats at 11:45. Jonah and James start watching the Babar movie.

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Daddy gives Jedidiah the medicine he forgot to give at mealtime. Back to school. More math for Jonah - this time we are working on coins. Both babies are asleep.

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Babar movie stopped. Lunch time for Jonah and James. Dinosaur chicken and carrots. Yum! I wake up Jack and he hangs out then eats at 1:30.

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Jedidiah sits in his chair and watches his fingers. Jonah and James take turns using the computer (Playhouse Disney). James freaks out because he had an accident in his pullups (Poor Lightning McQueen).

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Jack wakes up, eats, then vomits. Jedidiah takes a nap at 3:30. Jonah and James are pried free from the computer and sent to their room for a nap.

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Jonah sneaks out of his room and hides in the living room (twice). He tries his best to convince me that he does not need to sleep anymore. Considering this is the first time everyone is asleep, Jonah must go back to his room. He has the option of reading books quietly. Daddy needs a few minutes to recharge. Jonah, sensing that Daddy is along and bored, sneaks out again to inform him that he obeyed and read books in his room and has slept enough. Jonah is sent back to his room.

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. I got to spend some rare time bonding with just Jonah. It was nice. James wakes up at 5:30.

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Jack wakes up and hangs out in the chair. Jed wakes up a little later and also chills in the chair. Jonah and James play with trains and cars. Jack is fed 1 1/2 ounces of formula.

7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Jonah and James wathc Bugs Life. It Starts getting dicey. The twins are both hungry and crying. One eats but only a little. After switching to feed the other, he tags his teammate who begins to cry also. They are both very hungry, very tired or both (me too).

8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. I am slowly pumping more formula in each like the gas tank of my car. Just enough and the tank is full. Too much and it overflows. I hit the magic amount and Jed gets sleepy and goes down to bed.

9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Jonah and James finish watching the movie. Jack joins us as I brush teeth, change pajamas and we pray. Three down, one to go. I feed Jack one last time. I try to give him just enough to top off but not too much or else...Jack vomits several gallons worth! I pushed it one gulp too far. I put Jack down in his bed to clean up and he falls asleep. Yes!

10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. I clean up the kitchen and check on the twins a few times to make sure they are alive (they never go down this easy and they haven't made a peep). God is so merciful. Josephine calls. She's on her way home. I heat up my dinner and chow down.

11:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. Josephine arrives home and we chat about her shopping adventures. I finish cleaning up, feed the dog and get ready for bed.

Wow, what a day. I really appreciate my wife and moms everywhere. Jack Bauer is tough but not tough enough to be a mom. Sorry Jack.

Jonah's Swimming Class

Yesterday, Jonah completed his last day of Level 1 swimming at the West Covina pool. He jumped off the diving board (no small feat). According to his report card, he is proficient in most areas except for moving his arms in full circles when swimming on his stomach. The teacher recommended that he take the same level class next time.

Jonah has made great progress compared to last year when each class would begin with crying. Most days he would only get in the pool if he could play with toys.

Jonah, you are one step closer to an Olympic medal. Way to go!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jack is Home

Jack and Mommy arrived home around 9:30 this morning. Both looked very tired but happy to be back in familiar surroundings. They are napping right now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Jack's Surgery - Update #2

After swimming lessons we stopped by the hospital. Jack was sleeping when we arrived. He let out a couple whimpers while we were there but quickly quietly down when snuggled in mommy's arms. The other child in the room wasn't so calm. He was screaming most of the time. He had the same surgery but at 8 months old. I guess the older you are the more it hurts.

Fortunately the older child is going home tonight. Hopefully, Josephine and Jack can get some rest.

Jack's Surgery - Update

Josephine just called. Dr. Sherman said that the surgery went well and the hernia was repaired. Jack is still waking up and will move back upstairs to peds in a hour or so. I'm off to Jonah's swimming lessons and then we'll stop by the hospital.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jack's Surgery

Jack will have surgery on Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. to repair his inguinal hernia and check out a few other areas. Normally, the procedure would be outpatient but Jack gets special treatment as a preemie. He will arrive at 6 a.m. and stay overnight for observation. We hope he can come home first thing Tuesday morning. Josephine will be taking him and staying overnight.

Please keep Jack and Josephine in your prayers.


E.A.S.Y. Does It

The Secret of the Baby Whisperer is the best book ever! We started reading through this book again out of desperation. We have slowly implemented some of the suggestions with great results. The first step involves putting them on a schedule. It's a flexible schedule that takes into account how newborns eat, sleep and play. The E. stands for Eat, A for activity, S for sleep and Y for You (Mommy/Daddy Time). It has been an answer to our prayers. Jedidiah follows the EASY schedule but Jack is more of a ESAY baby. He prefers to have activity before eating.

Now we understand more or less how the day will go. This makes life so much easier.

Next, we decided to tackle the dreaded bedtime. For several weeks it was a marathon getting the twins to sleep. Most days it started at 9 pm and ended between 1-2 am. Now we keep them up after 7 pm until about 10. They have slowly learned how to soothe themselves to sleep (another tip from the book) and we are happy to report that two days in a row they have both been asleep before 11 pm. We top them off a few minutes after that. Then both usually sleep for 4 hours straight with a couple feedings during the night.

The next task is breaking the night feedings. The book recommends using a pacifier at night if the babies are over 10 pounds because they don't really need to eat - they want be soothed by feeding. So last night at 4:15, I gave Jack a pacifier. After about 20 minutes he fell asleep until the morning feeding. Jack actually skipped a feeding. That's a small miracle.

The Baby Whisperer Rocks!

P.S. It is 10:09 p.m. and all four boys are sound asleep.

Jedidiah Moves Out

Over the past two weeks we have been taking steps to help the twins go to sleep at a decent hour. We decided to move Jedidiah into his own room (the office) about a week ago in order to eliminate the possibility that they would wake each other. This move was precipitated by our plan to teach them to soothe themselves to sleep. Since returning from the hospital in June, we have been holding each for about 30 minutes after each feeding due to the acid-reflux. As a result, they have grown accustomed to falling asleep this way. Fortunately, their gastro doctor gave the ok to let them sleep on their right side (They love it!)

They are doing well so far. I think everything will be just fine as long as Jedidiah doesn't mention the cool computer in his room.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Say Cheese!

As a present for my "babies" shower back in May, my friend Tracy gave me a photo session with her photographer friend Sarah. Two weeks ago she came to our house to take pictures of the twins and the rest of the family, and the photos turned out so beautifully! Even our ho-hum living room looks like a professional studio in the background. Isn't this a great picture of our sons? And look - James is almost smiling! I highly recommend Sarah - she can conveniently come to your home, and her pictures capture lots of personality. Schedule a session with her and I get a free 5x7 (shameless promoting, I know). Now, if she could only digitally erase the dark circles from under my eyes...

Thanks for Stopping By

Thank you for visiting our blog. It gives us joy to know that people are interested in our "exciting" life and we especially appreciate the comments some of you have left. It is rather strange that an online journal could be a way to connect with others. For us it has provided a means of interacting with the adult world while surrounded by boys, diapers and formula.

A special thanks to Lynda and Annette who have posted words of encouragement and advice. We never get enough of either.

To leave a comment about any entry, just click on the pencil icon and type away.

God Bless,


Monday, August 6, 2007

We Got a Nano!

What do you call a male nanny?
(He's actually grandpa/lolo, and not ready at all for full time care of the twins. He doesn't even change diapers.)

Introducing Aquaman!

Jonah started his second summer of swimming lessons today. His level 1 class includes about 6 other kids. Last year we endured lots of crying and the teacher used toys to coax him into the pool. This year Jonah slowly made his way to the side of the pool but reminded the instructor that he was not interested in the deep end. James and I watched as Jonah splashed around and reluctantly followed directions. Each of his sentences began with "I don't want to..."

Fortunately Jonah will follow most requests even if he is opposed to doing so. James is another story. He may be 18 before swimming lessons begin. I asked James about swimming lessons. He quickly reminded me that his last adventure in the pool included floating in the middle of Uncle Laurence's jacuzzi. End of discussion.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Soy Bebe. Bebo Soy.

Jack and Jedidiah recently visited the pediatric gastroenterologist. They are gaining weight well but the doctor decided to discontinue some medicine and change the formula based on the amount of vomiting. So, we started a soy-based formula, increased the amount of rice cereal and stopped Reglan. The first night they reacted well to the changes. The next day we realized the extra cereal was too much - It made it more difficult for them to burp resulting in more vomits.

We hope the new changes will help Jack and Jedidiah keep their food in their tummies instead of on Mommy and Daddy. So far, so good.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vacation Bible School

Today was the first day of VBS. Jonah, James and I enjoyed an exciting day of worship, skits, bible-studies, crafts and food. Jonah had a great time with his buddy Ezra while James spent the morning in the nursery. I think he enjoyed being one of the big kids for once.

The topic for this year's VBS is the ten plagues. It might seem like an odd theme for kids bible study but that's the beauty of scripture. From Old Testament through the New Testament, it is God's word and there is always a message He wants to share with us. All He needs is an open heart.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Go, James, Go!

Today was an amazing day for James. As some of you already know, he is not potty trained. In fact, we haven't had a chance to even start. His response to our requests to just sit on the potty has always been a firm "No." Now, if you know James then you know he is one of those kids who can't be forced to do something he doesn't want to do. You need to give him candy.

So, I have been waiting for warm weather to start training him. Today, I made him go "O Natural" on the bottom with the kids potty nearby. I proceeded to feed him lots of fluids and crackers without putting any pressure on him to go. He knew that candy would be consumed after a successful #1 or #2. Despite many requests I kindly refused to put a diaper or even underwear on him.

Several minutes (or hours) into a regular day James rewarded us with a #1. We erupted in celebration, songs, dancing -- We were so proud and he knew. "Can I have candy?" The real motivation was revealed and yes you can have several pounds of candy.

The days plan included a trip to Pasadena for a birthday party. Josephine, Jonah and James needed to leave after 2 p.m. and we were quickly approaching decision time -- James really wanted a diaper which meant he had to go #2. This was a golden opportunity to literally push the whole potty-training process forward light-years.

A few minutes later, I was cleaning up the counter when James triumphantly declared that he had made poo-poo. We have had false alarms in the past so of course I had to verify before any prizes would be awarded.

I'll spare you the graphic details, (I do have a picture if you want to see it! Eck!) but I'll just say that Mr. James (aka Minis) had pulled out all the stops. There was nothing "minis" about it.

So, it was time to celebrate again. We had promised James candy and a "Go, Diego, Go" DVD if he went #2. So after cleaning up, eating dinner and dressing, James and I headed off to the one place every "big boy" must go to - Best Buy.

Congratulations James!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Potato, Potahto, Inguinal, Iguana

Jack has a hernia. I always thought this type of injury was common to older men lifting objects such as cars, heavy boxes, or large bags of marshmallows. We can't prove it but we think Jack has been working out in his room by lifting his crib, doing push ups or climbing on the mobile. This might explain why he is bigger than Jedidiah.

Actually, the type of hernia he has is called an inguinal hernia and has nothing to do with lifting anything. It occurs when part of the abdominal wall doesn't close. This is not uncommon with premature babies. After meeting with the pediatric surgeon we have confirmation - Jack will need surgery to repair the opening.

I'm sure if Jack could choose he would want an iguana instead. But we explained to him that some pets take more responsibility than others. If he takes good care of the inguinal then maybe, just maybe, we'll think about getting him an iguana.

James Goes Underwater

This Wednesday we took the whole brood to Arcadia for swimming at Uncle Laurence's house. Lea, A.J., Jonah and James suited up and headed to the pool. Actually, they spent most of the time in the jacuzzi. Well, after several minutes of splashing the adults and kids had settled into their spots. Laurence and I(with Jed) on the loungers, Josephine inside the house and Lolo right next to the jacuzzi.

Laurence was about to check on Josephine when our parent radar picked up a disturbance in the force. Turns out James, who usually sits right on the little shallow step for hours, had wandered into the middle of the jacuzzi. Jonah stood right next to him as James' head slipped below the water (How about a little help Big Bro?). Lolo and I were slow to act but fortunately Laurence stepped into the jacuzzi and pulled James from the water.

James was just fine. It appears that he just held his breath below water for those few seconds waiting for one of the adults to rescue him.

"Thanks Uncle Wauwence!"

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Best Friend's Wedding

Denise & Carl tie the knot!
The beautiful bride and an OK bridesmaid. :-)

On July 5, dear friends of ours got married in a beautiful ceremony and had a wonderful reception. I was honored to be a bridesmaid - I got to wear makeup and everything! Denise and I met in our first year of college. Physics class brought us together and after many sleepless nights of studying for quizzes over countless bags of white cheddar popcorn, our friendship has withstood 17 years of the good and the better. Denise has the patience of a saint - not many people have been so close to me for so long (other than family, who have no choice in the matter). She's the sister I never had, and I'm so blessed that as roommates we even wore the same size clothes - can you say "double the wardrobe"? She was own my beautiful Maid of Honor 11 years ago, and she was a more beautiful bride - all of us who know her well were so happy for her on the Big Day. Her husband, Carl, has affectionately been referred to as "the 6th roommate" by those of us who shared a condo on Mahaila St., and now that they're officially Mr. and Mrs., they'd better let us sleep on their couch as much as he slept on ours!

Congratulations, Dee and Carl! We love you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

All right

Wow, God is a fast worker. At 11:30pm Justin and I were in the groove with the twins' nightly routine: we had been holding them since 7:00pm, done a number of change-feed-vomit cycles, and had started to watch yet another sitcom episode when Jed fell asleep on Justin's chest. After 4 hours that was definitely something to be joyous about. Then it happened: Jed let out a really loud chuckle and smiled. A big smile. Then a few moments later, he laughed. Justin smiled, and I smiled. God had reminded us that it's all worth it. My heart is right again. I love my boys.

Monday, July 23, 2007


-just as I was about to sit and write about how I only had a few seconds to record my thoughts because I'd be interrupted by a crying baby, I was interrupted by a crying baby. So, where was I?

...oh yeah. I'm a bad parent. As I sat in front of the TV watching the 7th episode straight of a sitcom series we'd rented from Netflix (DVDs delivered to your door absolutely rocks), I felt sad. No, not because of something I had just seen in the show, but of something I'd just realized. I had been feeding, changing, holding, rocking my baby for the past 3+ hours straight. But I felt no joy, no happiness. I was simply on autopilot. I'm always on autopilot. Yes, we have twins. I take care of one, then the other, then maybe that same one, then the other. I meet their needs. They're fed. They're changed. They sleep. They cry. Then I take care of their needs again. I forget they're my sons. I forget the precious little miracles that they are, born 10 weeks early yet now a strapping 12 pounds each 4 months later. I forget how much I prayed for them in the NICU, anxious to see them everyday, wanting to hold them and take care of them myself. I forget the fear I felt when they went back to the hospital and how I complained that all I wanted was for all the tubes to go away so I could take them in my arms unimpeded. They've become just "what I do" all day. I now savor the moments ("momentitos" in Spanish, which is so much more accurate because it means "little moments") of no one needing anything from me.

That's why I'm a bad parent. LORD, help me to appreciate, enjoy, and love my sons. You've given them to us because You know our needs and what we can handle, with Your help. Remind me that they're precious treasures in our care. Remind me that Jack and Jedidiah are gifts from You.

...oops, someone's crying. Vamonos.

"Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wishing Upon A Triangle

More than thirty days have passed since the twins were diagnosed with acid-reflux. Since that day we have provided them with multiple medications in hopes that their condition would improve. They are very healthy and gaining weight despite the occasional vomiting episode.

Wednesday, as I was holding Jack (or maybe it was Jed) on my chest after a feed/vomit episode I decided to delve into cyberspace. Well, I found a shining beacon of hope - the Tucker Sling/Wedge Combo. The contraption was designed specifically for newborns with reflux (Hey, I have two of those). Hope started welling up from the bottom of my sandaled feet to the top of my unwashed, uncombed hair. Could this be the answer we had searched for? The product consisted of two parts - a triangular-shaped foam wedge and a fabric sling. This sling, when fastened over the wedge, held the baby while he lay at a 30 degree angle. "What took me so long to find this??!!!", I scolded myself. I busted out my wallet but hit a roadblock when the online ordering function didn't work.

The next day I spoke to a very helpful person named Terri. She processed my order and even shipped both Tucker/Sling Wedge Combos in one box (Saving me $10 in shipping). They arrived the next day (not bad for Louisiana to Cali). I opened the box, washed the slings and set up both wedges in the twin's room.

The evil wedges are now strewn across the living room. Turns out that unlike the beautifully content babies on the Tucker Sling website, my children are moved to vomit when strapped to the top of a giant, steep right triangle. Jack vomited first. Jed actually slept for a hour or so but vomited the second time he was strapped in. A few more vomits later I removed the wedges.

At this point we're back to holding them for about 30 minutes after each feeding then sitting them in a chair - I don't know if they'll ever sleep on their backs again. I picture them as teens, sharing bunkchairs wondering why the rest of the world chooses to sleep in the supine position.

I guess sleeping in a chair isn't so bad. I'll take a chair over a giant triangle any day.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Everyone knows that babies don't come with instructions. If they did, I have a feeling the instructions would be in every language but English and written on a piece of paper in like .075 font folded into a million unrefoldable folds. If Jack and Jedidiah came with instructions, they would read like this:

Change. Feed. Vomit. Repeat.

"For He instructs him in right judgment, His God teaches him." Isaiah 28:26

Monday, July 16, 2007

Big Brother

Today is my big brother Laurence's 42nd birthday. We celebrated yesterday at his house with family, partying in the usual way: lots of food and lots of TV. Laurence and I have the same sense of humor (as with all my brothers), but I've come to realize we have the same laugh, too. Scary - sometimes you can't tell the difference between a 42 year old man and his 35 year old sister. Well, I'm the one with thinner eyebrows (barely).

Happy Birthday, Laurence!

Meat and babies

Things normal people can do in 3 hours:
-see a movie
-drive from L.A. to San Diego and back
-cook a pot roast in a crock pot (on the high setting)
-take a final exam in college

What we just did in the past 3 hours:
-feed and change the twins in between crying fits (theirs and ours)

I don't even get to sleep 3 hours straight, but I just spent that amount of time in the twins' room, and NO ONE there was sleeping. I suppose I shouldn't complain, because I saw an episode of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" about that couple who has twin 5 year old girls and 6 (yes, six) 18 month old babies. But that's on TV and this is MY life! Ah, I'll just tell myself to get a grip see what God has for us in all of this (besides more prayer time, since I'm up at all hours ANYWAY).

Maybe I'll go cook a pot roast and see what happens first - a cooked pot roast or twins asleep for the night.

"A faithful man will abound with blessings..." Proverbs 28:20

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sleeping Through the Night?

After taking the night off, I checked with Josephine this morning. "So, how was it last night?" She went on to explain that after going to bed around midnight, both twins slept until 6 am. Over 6 hours!

We're very excited. Three months of late night feedings might be over.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Day in the Life...

Have you ever wondered why we never answer the phone?

We average 14 feedings per day approximately 2-3 hours apart. The feedings/changings take about 20 minutes per child. Often times they don't want to go right back down to sleep. I guess sleeping on mommy or daddy is more comfortable than a baby chair. So if you add up all the minutes spent feeding/holding them during a 24-hour period, some days it tops 10 hours (try that Jack Bauer!).

I prefer to feed the twins in the family room during the day instead of the cave (their room). If I am caring for them by myself I like to put on a movie. I have grown fond of subtitles during this time because I found out the hard way that movie sounds trigger vomiting. So, today I watched Spiderman 2 and U-571 with subtitles and only one spitup.

Both have acid - reflux so we hold them for up to 30 minutes after each feeding. Another reason we do this is their vomit reflex. If you put them down in the chair too early - up comes lunch. Actually, if you look at them wrong - up comes lunch. Neither twin has slept in their real beds since leaving Children's Hospital. The position is too uncomfortable. They usually sleep in the baby chair, in a swing or on mommy or daddy.

Needless to say, Jonah and Jame have spent a lot of time on independent activities such as playing with cars, tackling brother or watching DVDs. When they wake up, Josephine and I are usually changing shifts. Whoever has the night shift stumbles down the hallway for a couple hours of sleep while the other tells Jonah and James to pick out a video. After the video and the twin's first feeding of the day, Jonah and James eat breakfast. The rest of the morning is spent playing or running errands with mommy or daddy. Jonah and James get along really well most of the time. It is neat to sit back and watch them play, laugh and talk. They crack us up.

Thanks again everyone for your prayers. The twins are healthy boys who love to eat. We have been blessed (and stretched) by them during this busy time. We try our best to enjoy them but are looking forward to the day when they sleep through the night.

Jack and Jed - Three Months Old!

As of June 30th, Jack and Jedidiah are three months old. They have been very busy during those three months spending one month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and another week at Miller Children's Hospital. The rest of the time has been spent eating, sleeping and relaxing in West Covina. They are looking forward to attending church in a couple weeks.

Happy Three Month Birthday Jack and Jedidiah! Chuck E. Cheese's or Golf N' Stuff? Your choice.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Daddy's Super Powers

I have special powers. I know it isn't something I talk about a lot but if you had these same powers you wouldn't either. Some super powers are cool - flying, super strength, x-ray vision. Too bad those powers are not real. Well, since the twins came home from the hospital my gift has materialized. Perhaps some Kryptonite is buried under Miller's Children's Hospital or a freak magnetic storm passed over the school where I teach. Either way, the gift is here. The gift is powerful. The gift is scary.

My gift is this - I am able to make Jedidiah and Jack vomit the entire contents of their stomachs right after or during a feeding. Regardless of how many different ways I try to hold them and despite my prayers that the stomach muscles responsible for throwing up would stop working, I have been covered by partially digested milk more times this week than I can count.

Josephine does not have this gift. She can get a spit up here and there but not a complete 4 ouncer that comes through the nose and mouth and covers up the whole front of the shirt.

Obviously, my feeding, burping, holding technique needs some work. I have been watching Josephine intently, trying my best to mirror her. Unfortunately, it only takes a little shift one direction and up comes lunch.

I know that many of you are jealous of my super power. Yes, I know most super heroes keep their powers a secret. Then again, they usually help fight crime and save people. Mine just wastes formula and frustrates the twins and me.

Time to pull out my old comic books and find out how to get rid of super powers.

3 - 2 - 1 Contacts!

A few days ago I lost one of my contacts. It was during the early morning when I was watching the twins. Later that morning I replaced them. For a while I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my right eye. Everything was blurry. After shifting the contacts around I decided to take them out and clean them. Well, I removed my left lens, cleaned it and put it back. Then I removed two lenses from my right eye. I cleaned the new one and put it back. I can see again!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Like Mother, Like Son

I was feeding one of the twins in their room the other day (something I spend at least 8 hours a day doing) while Justin was playing with Jonah and James outside. I heard them come in and I heard Jonah crying. When I came out, I was told that Jonah walked in front of James while James was "at bat" playing baseball with Daddy. Needless to say, Jonah's nose was bleeding.

Rewind about 30 years to a rented house in Pasadena. Three brothers are playing baseball in the front yard, and little sister wanders behind the batter. Broomstick makes contact with bridge of nose and... you guessed it. And you've probably guessed who that little sister was.

Like mother, like son. Come on, Jonah, let's go get an ice pack together.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day - Part II

Yesterday was Father's Day and my husband sure spent it being a father - he took the night shift with the twins and also took care of them while the rest of us went to church. Even though there is a special day set aside to honor dads, everyday is Father's Day here. I wrote this to him in his Father's Day card:
"To a husband whose second nature is to protect his family; who loves faithfully, who works diligently, who cares unconditionally, whose example is Godly, who walks uprightly, who drives slowly :), who provides generously, who prays earnestly - you're appreciated wholeheartedly." Jonah, James, Jack and Jedidiah have a wonderful father!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them..." Psalm 127:3-5

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Another memorable conversation:

James: I want my kajamas.
Josephine: You mean pajamas.
James: No, kajamas.
Josephine: It's pajamas. Puh-puh-pajamas.
James: Puh-puh... kajamas.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Kindergarten Graduation

Yesterday was an exciting day for us. We knew there was a chance that the twins would be discharged over the weekend. This created a potential problem as Jonah's kindergarten graduation was on Saturday at 3:30. Obviously, we both wanted to attend but would have to split up if the twins were still in the hospital.

I can remember wondering if we would get discharged just in time. Well, the Lord blessed us once again. There were only 5 minutes before one of us would have to leave to attend Jonah's graduation. All of the sudden, the two nurses came in with the discharge papers and we were ready to go. We loaded the double-stroller, fed the twins and headed back home. It was a great feeling.

We got home, dressed the boys, dropped off the twins with Nana and prepared to leave. After a mix-up at the pharmacy, Lolo and I drove separately to the graduation but arrived just in time. The whole class of 2007 did a great job singing songs, reciting bible verses and posing for pictures.

Jonah was disappointed that he wasn't headed to grad night at Disneyland. Sorry Jonah. Maybe next year.

"He will bless them that fear the LORD, [both] small and great." Psalm 115:13

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Our first night all together here in the general peds ward at the hospital felt like being at home - except for all the beeping of the monitors and the constructions noises outside. Jack and Jedidiah have been following the same feeding and sleeping schedule that they kept at home - a good sign, I suppose. Justin and I were both able to spend the night in the room on one of those convertible chairs-to-bed thingys (not too uncomfortable when you're exhausted). The chairs are actually kind of cool - if it wasn't for that hospital look and vinyl feel, I'd consider getting some for our family room. Anyway, I'm looking forward to holding my sons without all the leads and wires and tubes and attachments they now have - just a long cuddle and maybe a nap together at home. In the meantime, I got to watch an episode of "What Not to Wear" on TLC - in the end, that lady looked fabulous. Praying for happy ending to this hospital stay.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" 2Chronicles 1:3

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


When we took the first twin to the E.R., we were obviously concerned about his health. The more we learned about his condition and consulted with the doctors, it became clear that although we should be cautious, the boys were never in any grave danger. By the time Jack went the hospital we realized it was par for the course when dealing with premies and twins.

We have been able to experience a day in the life of the E.R. and a PICU. After watching doctors and nurses huddle around patients, seeing relatives cry and mourn and overhearing other parents prepare to say goodbye to their child, we have gained a valuable perspective on our experience. For us, this illness is merely an inconvenience. Through God's grace and His sovereign will it never became more than that. But for others, this is not the first or last time they will be in the PICU. For some families this will be the last time they see their child.

We really appreciate your continued prayers but would also ask that during your moments with the Lord that you might lift up the patients and families of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit here at Miller's Hospital. We know there are several families here who need God's comfort and healing much more than we do.

God Bless,


Together Again

After 12 hours at the Queen of the Valley Emergency Room yesterday, Jack was transported to the same room his brother occupied at Miller's Children's Hospital PICU. Jedidiah began the day at the PICU annex. Josephine and I have been splitting time at these two locations. I slept in the annex and she in the PICU. After a short break today I returned to the annex to see Jed's crib missing. He was moved to general pediatrics - the last step before going home. I visited Jack next in the PICU and was told he was also moving to peds and would share the same room as his brother. Jack arrived about and hour ago and if I understand their squeekin' and gruntin', they have greeted each other already and are happy to be reunited.

Josephine was gone when all the moving transpired. She took Jonah to graduation practice this afternoon. When she returns it will be nice to spend time with her and the twins.

So we expect that the twins will be going home by the weekend. We are eagerly looking forward to that day.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Daddy's Turn at the E.R.

This morning at 3:30 Jack had labored breathing, was spitting up most of his food and was very fussy. These were the same symptoms Jedidiah had so I decided to take him to the ER (Josephine was staying overnight at the Hospital). As of this morning Jack is being admitted and transfered to Miller's Hospital. His condition is stable - He has had several Albuterol breathing treatments but hasn't eaten all morning. He'll probably go through the same process as Jed. For most of us we would just get sleep and ride out these viruses. For premies they are more cautious. While Josephine and I are at the hospital Nana will take care of Jonah and James.

We are not overly concerned about Jack's condition. He was borderline. In fact, the first doctor was going to send him home. The shift changed and his breathing increased so I think they are just being safe. Jed is also improving. Josephine fed him breast milk this morning and he might be transfered to pediatrics soon which would be the last step before coming home.

Thanks for praying for Jack, Jed, Mommy and me. We can feel the Lord's hand in this process.

God Bless,


Jedidiah's New Roommate

Hello everyone. Quick update on Jedidiah. Josephine and I spent half the day with him at the hospital. He is progressing well and all labs have come back negative. After each feeding he crashes for a nap. Josephine is spending the night with him while I am at the house and just got the ok to feed him breastmilk instead of the Pedialyte he has had for the last day.

Nana has been a great help caring for Jack while the Lima family entertained Jonah and James all day today. Josephine's Dad spent some time at the hospital too.

The hospital surprised us this evening by moving Jedidiah out of his single room into the PICU annex with another roommate. In fact, the room has spots for four patients. The good news is that room is for more stable patients. But it will be a little bit harder for Josephine to sleep tonight. Maybe she'll feel more at home surrounded by four kids?

Thanks again for your prayers and offers for help. We will definitely take advantage of those offers as the need arises.

P.S. Josephine just called. Here's the scoop on Jed's new roommate. He is a fan of DisneyMundo. The family has spent half the time watching telenovelas and the other half watching Disney. Watch out Jack! Jedidiah is already learning a new language. Fantastico!

God Bless,


Monday, June 4, 2007

Jedidiah in the Hospital

Below is a copy of an email sent Sunday, June 3rd.

Dear Family and Friends,

As some of you already know, Jedidiah was admitted to the hospital this Sunday morning for difficulty breathing. Around six o-clock we noticed that he was breathing very rapidly. After a quick consult with Josephine's brother, Laurence, Josephine took him to the ER at Queen of the Valley. The doctor decided to admit him and then transfer to Miller's Children Hospital. He is currently in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He most likely has a common virus that will run its course without causing much harm though most of the tests will not be in until tomorrow. He is receiving periodic breathing treatments and as of this evening the nurse was going to feed him his first meal in 12 hours. Jedidiah is doing well despite being poked, prodded and not fed. Based on his status tomorrow, he may be moved to the general pediatrics ward and could come home in a couple days.

By the way, Jack was never taken to the hospital. For a little while we were considering taking him because his breathing was a little more rapid than normal. Laurence observed him most of the day and recommended that he stay at home. He is currently resting well but missing his roommate.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and words of encouragement. As always the Lord has blessed up with so many helpful friends and family. Thank you especially to Laurence, Lolo and Nana for spending the day caring for Jack, Jonah and James.

We will keep you updated as often as we can.

God Bless,

Justin and Josephine

Grandpa is Seventeen!

On Saturday the Lopez family and several Riggs boys gathered at Max's in Glendale to celebrate Lolo's 70th birthday. We enjoyed great conversation and delicious food.

The evening was spent sharing stories about Lolo and how his life has impacted those around him. We jokingly referred to his seventeenth birthday and in many ways Lolo is still a kid at heart - he loves cars and ice cream.

Lolo - You are a blessing from above. Happy "17th" Birthday!

Happy Birthday James!

On Friday, June 1st James turned three years old. He spent the day with Mommy and Jonah and in the afternoon was wisked away to a private photo shoot in Arcadia (at Picture People). The session began with Mr. Serious refusing to smile. Eventually he let out a few half-smiles and one "I have lot's of important, stressful things to do" look that made him appear 43. Then he got to spend the evening with his cousins in Arcadia.

James (aka Minis) has been such a blessing to us for three years now. He loves to get attached to relatives and friends and is very good at training them to care for his needs. He is bright and observant but also enjoys running into doors and falling down to make the crowd laugh. He's such a fun little guy.

Happy Birthday James!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


We went to our neighbors' house on Memorial Day for some fellowship and ribs with the BEST barbeque sauce on the face of this earth (for the ribs, not the fellowship). Jonah and James had a great time being entertained by this clip that will bring back memories for people like us who grew up watching the Muppets. My sons crack up at the same things that made me laugh as a kid, and their laughter is one of the best blessings of being their mom (in addition to the aforementioned barbeque sauce, which, in retrospect, has nothing to do with motherhood). Take a look see...Click here to see it


Jack and Jedidiah got their first round of shots today. Mom and Dad were surprised that they didn't cry louder. Jack has been a bit more clingy tonight but overall they are recovering well.

Sunday they will make their first trip to church. Yeah!

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday at 7:05 p.m. Jedidiah and Jack were officially two months old.

Happy Birthday boys!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

En Guard!

Just this morning -

Jonah: Mommy, where did the babies [Jack and Jedidiah] come from?
Josephine: From my tummy.
Jonah: How did they get them out?
Josephine: They cut my tummy and took them out.
Jonah: What did they use to open you up? A sword?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

The Virtuous Wife

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all."
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31: 10-31

I have found a virtuous wife. Happy Mother's Day honey. You are blessing to us. Your value is beyond gold, diamonds or rubies. Thanks for demonstrating God's love to us every day.


The Riggs Boys

Investing Time in Our Children

After more than five years I can attest to the great value of having my wife home full-time and would not change a thing. Her daily sacrifices result in blessings for me and the boys. Sure, we could have made much more money but the Lord has enabled us to live on a teacher's salary with two boys. I have no doubt He will continue to provide for us now that we have four boys.

On Mother's Day please consider an excerpt from today's sermon at Calvary Chapel Pasadena and a recent article that illustrates the value of stay-at-home moms.


A Stay-Home Mother: Time Invested in Her Children

-She will spend 17 hours a day with the child. In the first year, she will spend 3,000+ hours with the child.

-In the first 12 years, she will spend 40,000+ hours with the child.
-Between ages of 13 and 18, she will spend 4 hours a day, for a total of 2,000 hours during those years.

During those 18 years, she will spend 42,000+ hours with the child (instead of 6,000+ as a working woman--7 times more.)

(Calvary Chapel Pasadena)


Value of stay-at-home moms rises

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The cost of paying a stay-at-home mom for all the work she does is on the rise. says if they got paid, stay-at-home moms would pull down $134,121 this year - a raise of $2,650 from last year’s theoretical salary.

Salary-dot-com has put together a list of job titles that best matched a stay-at-home mom’s definition of the work she does. Among them, in the order of hours spent per week, are housekeeper, day care center teacher and cook.

Job titles new to the list this year include psychologist, laundry machine operator and computer operator.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Acorns to Oaks Musical

We are so proud of Jonah! He sang his heart out tonight in the Sonrise I.S.P. production entitled "Acorns to Oaks". After many weeks of rehearsals and one performance this week at Sonrise Christian School, Jonah, his buddy Ezra and about 40 other children sang in the choir while a young cast performed. We brought the twins and I just loved watching Jonah. Though he barely opened his mouth to sing, you could see that he was really concentrating and doing his best. Then I realized - This is our boy. Our "Mr. Guy" is growing up before our eyes.

We know that many adults worked together to make this happen. In fact, we have heard that one person did an exceptional job backstage (Way to go Tracy!). So thanks to everyone who made this musical possible. It was wonderful! We are looking forward to tomorrow's final performance. I hope the cast party doesn't keep Jonah out too late.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I got to speak Spanish today. I studied Spanish Literature in college and I got to use my "skillz" (or as they say in Spanish, "ehskillz") NOT to translate some academic paper, or a novel, or even a letter. I translated a conversation between my husband and the gardener Luis. With simple words like "cada semana" (every week), "cesped" (grass), and "cortar" (to cut), I saved Justin from extreme pantomiming of someone mowing tall grass down to short grass. He was also spared of putting the suffix -O after every word to make it sound like Spanish ("can you-O cut-O the grass-O every week-O? How much-O will it cost-O?"). So since Luis only had a look of confusion on his face twice, I assume our front lawn will be mowed every week and the backyard mowed every other week as requested. Either that or I've promised the gardener thousands of dollars to turn on the sprinklers. We'll see ("vamos a ver").
I want to learn French. Or Latin. And how to play the guitar.

What Do You Get When You Mix...

two month-old twins, a preschooler, a stubborn toddler, a wiener-dog, Nana and two tired parents? A fun trip to Picture People in Arcadia. We started prepping to leave at 7:00 a.m., barely got out the door by 9:35 and arrived just after 10. Despite being a bit guilty walking a non seeing-eye dog through the mall, we eventually made it to Picture People. Five seconds before the photo session, James decided to fall off the play train into the glass window. Now for those of you who don't know James doesn't like to smile in pictures unless all the planets are aligned, the humidity is exactly 42% and a crew of 15 people are around to make him laugh. So smashing his face against the glass probably wouldn't help make this experience "picture perfect".

Needless to say, after 2000 pictures everyone (even Inky) managed to crack a smile. The best we got from James was a half smile with arms crossed. But he did get a balloon so as far as he is concerned it was a good day.

So roughly 6 hours later we arrived back home, cracked open the minivan, and let all the kids just spill out into the house.

But it was worth it - We got some great pictures of Nana with Inky, Jonah and James. Happy Mother's Day Mom! I have so much more respect for you now.

A Star is Born

After many rehearsals Jonah performed in his first musical entitled "Acorns to Oaks". He is one of the youngest (and quietest) members of the choir. I was a bit apprehensive about this performance since the two rehearsals I had attended began with Jonah crying and included very little singing on his part. But I was pleasantly suprised. He did a wonderful job and so did the rest of the cast.

There is something very special about live performances especially when children are involved. The two official performances are this Friday and Saturday. I hope the cast party doesn't keep Jonah out too late.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

You might need an abacus

In the last month my family has increased by 50% and the number of my sons has increased by 100% - that translates into my family of 4 turning into a family of 6. This means that there are only 2 vacant spaces left in the minivan. And it means there are no vacant spaces left at the dinner table. And it means I have as many children as my parents had. And it means that of my dad's eight grandchildren, half of them are OURS.

Raising Four Boys

Hello everyone,

Josephine and I are excited to unveil our first family blog to chronicle the many adventures of training up our boys in the Lord. Stop by anytime to get updates on the boys as well as a glimpse into our blessed (albeit sleep-deprived) life.

God Bless,