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.