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!