Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Choir 2008 - Jonah the Donkey


Yesterday Jonah performed in "The Innkeeper's Tale" at church. It was the 2008 Christmas performance at Calvary Chapel Pasadena. Jonah was dressed in a cute donkey outfit as one of the animals from the stable.

All the kids were adorable and Frank narrated a cute tale from the innkeeper's perspective. It was a great performance followed by an important message about Christ. Hopefully someone decided to accept God's free gift of salvation. I can't think of a better Christmas gift.

Great job Jonah! We just need to work on that stubborn side.

HE HAW!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That's Not Chocolate!

For those of you who have been on the edge of your seats waiting for yet another situation involving my sons and their history of inappropriately pooping, the wait is over. Let me start by going backwards. Here are the lessons I learned from tonight:
1) NEVER assume it's chocolate.
2) NEVER pick it up with your bare hands.
3) NEVER assume who the source is.
4) NEVER take a 4 year old at his word.

Justin took Jonah to Tae Kwon Do tonight, and when one or more children are absent at dinnertime it's usually easier. USUALLY. During dinner, I saw on the floor what looked like a melted chocolate chip. It wasn't. Needless to say, I had to wash-no, scrub my hands. I smelled the twins up, down, and all around, checked up their pant legs and found no tracks or pieces or anything. I figured Justin had brought it in on one of his shoes. I asked James if he needed to poop, and he said No. He proceeded to go into the family room and I heard him playing with some of the baby toys. I continued to give the twins their milk when, after about 5 minutes, I noticed James with his hands down the back of his pants. I shuddered with dread as I called him over. I opened his pants, and, SURPRISE, underwear with some "not chocolate" in it. I had to put down the twins sippy cups, which sent them into a frenzy of screaming. I put James on the toilet and demanded that he push out what had only started to rear its ugly head. I went back to finish feeding Jack and Jed, and returned to wipe James. With a raised voice I reminded James that playing is not more important than pooping. I flushed the toilet. It clogged. I gagged. I gagged again, and ran out of the bathroom. I returned, pulled off James's clothes and streaked undies and put him in the shower to soak. Long. I set up a DVD for the twins to watch. Then I remembered that I had smelled poop in his room a few weeks ago... I screamed in anger and threw off the stuffed toys from his bed, smelling them one by one. I ripped off his sheets and pillow cases and threw them with his clothes into the wash. Wash - hot, rinse - hot. I wiped off all the baby toys in the family room, wiped off the chair James was sitting on, wiped the table, wiped the floor, wiped the doorknobs and the refrigerator door, and anything else James probably touched while he was under the radar. I returned to James the raisin in the shower and gave him a deep scrubbing, especially in the you-know-what area, and another lecture about how poop does not belong in underwear. As he put on his pajamas after his bath I made his bed and prohibited the tens of stuffed toys he usually sleeps with from joining him tonight. He got punished for lying to me about not having to poop, he got in bed, and he went to sleep alone.

That was about two hours ago and I'm still steaming, but cooling down. Why is it that I am the one learning lessons from all this? Shouldn't 4 be the max when it comes to the number of times a potty-trained boy chooses to tote around his excrement instead of going to the bathroom? And, dang it, why do I keep smelling my hands?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hark the Herald Shepherds Sing...




Yesterday was the first rehearsal for the Christmas Children's Choir at church. Jonah is performing for the second year in a row. When given the choice between an angel, animal or shepherd, Jonah chose the shepherd.

The theme for this year's performance is "The Innkeeper's Tale". It is the story of the innkeeper who, despite previous accounts, tried his best to find accommodations for Joseph and Mary.

Plays are always fun to watch due to unpredictable nature of live acting. Add a cast of young, untrained child actors and viola! It will be a fun night.

The curtain rises on Sunday, December 21st! Sing your heart out shepherd boy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Walker, Texas Ranger

OK, this post has nothing to do with Chuck Norris, but "Walker" is the key word. Nana and Papa Riggs were kind enough to give Jack and Jed their Christmas presents early. Yesterday their Uncle TJ delivered two VTech walkers. Even though they have therapy 3-4x per week, hopefully this will help their physical development even more. The lights and sounds are pretty cool and so far they're mildly interested in it. Before we know it they'll probably be racing down the hallway with them. I hope these walkers are still in good condition for me when I'm at the end of my years and in need of a fun one.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jack is Wonderfully Made.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:13-14


Before the foundations of the world were created, God knew that Jack Riggs would be born. He also knew that he would have cerebral palsy. Today, Josephine and I met with the doctor to review Jack's MRI from last week. She confirmed that scar tissue was present on both sides of the brain but more on the left side. This would explain the weakness of his right side. So, it is clear that he has mild to moderate cerebral palsy. The extent is not known. As he grows and matures, we will see how well he speaks. This will determine how severe the palsy is.

A few months ago I studied the story of a paralyzed man that Jesus forgave and healed (Luke 5:18). During my preparation, I examined the word for paralyzed. That word means palsy in the original language. At that moment the Lord gave me a peace about Jack as if to say -- If he has cerebral palsy it is ok.

So, today is just a confirmation of what we have suspected for a few months. The Lord confirmed the diagnosis during this week of Thanksgiving for a reason. So our prayer is for a constant attitude of thanksgiving. We give thanks that God has deemed us worthy to care for four wonderful boys including a child with cerebral palsy. But we also thank Him for His mercy towards Jack. At the end of Josephine's pregnancy the doctor was concerned that Jack might be dying. By God's mercy he lived and he is perfect because God knit him together in Josephine's womb.

So as Jack continues to grow and mature, we know that God will use him to help us grow and mature too. That is something we are very thankful for.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jonah vs Ezra - Sparring

Turn your head 90 degrees and watch as Jonah and Ezra put their friendship to the test. What is stronger: The bonds of friendship or a roundhouse kick to the face? Watch and find out.

video

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Super Stars - Twins Feed Themselves


Today Josephine went shopping while I took care of the boys (I call it her "vacation"). At dinnertime the twins usually sit at the table but tonight I decided to use their old trays. The trays attach to the booster seats. I had a hunch that having a tray might prevent the normal dinner time game - Sweep everything off the table onto the floor. So, I gave them the trays and placed a few peas on top. Soon the peas were flying to the ground. I tried the Gerber stars (aka flavored air). In an instant both boys were doing something they haven't done in 19 months - Grabbing food and placing it in their mouths. I sprinted over, got the video camera and started filming. Amazingly, they kept feeding themselves the stars.

When mommy got home I showed her the film and she was very proud. Another wonderful milestone reached. Now we can take the twins for Moroccan food.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

M.I.A.

Don't be alarmed - yes, it's a real live blog update from the Riggs Family. Yes, we've neglected blogging for quite some time and have probably lost a few fans, but you must understand how busy it's been! Here's a quick update on what's been happening the past few months:

Jack and Jedidiah have started occupational therapy once a week, infant stimulation (one-on-one play) twice a week, and Jack has physical therapy once a week. We started our homeschooling the last week of August - Jonah in 2nd grade and James in pre-K/K. From when we awake to when we sleep, we must juggle the needs of each child and prioritize who needs what and when. Oh, and we have to eat and nap (except for mommy) throughout the day, too. On Thursdays we meet with our homeschooling group and have "school," where the kids are put into classes according their grades and the moms teach various subjects - I teach science to the 3rd-8th graders. Wednesday is the only day of the week when we have nothing other than school scheduled - hence my hurried attempt to catch up on this blog.

My temper is short and my desire is not to be a complainer (1Tim 6:6), but right how I have two babies whining for my attention, a 6 year old begging for breakfast and a 4 year old trying to climb into my lap. I pray that the Lord continues to reveal to me all the blessings around me, and that what I seek is His glory and not just another cup of coffee.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jonah into the "Arts"


Jonah is a child with many gifts. He loves to draw, sing and plays a mean game of Dodgeball on the Wii. A couple years ago he tried to play soccer but was more interested in his shadow than the actual goal of scoring on the opponent. Over time Josephine and I have tried to steer him in certain directions to build on his strengths. This summer he attended a couple art classes at Thematic Attic and loved them (especially the snacks). Yet he struggles to grasp the intricacies of swimming (like not drowning) after several lessons. He wants to play the piano and loves riding his bike. So as we continue our search for activities to strengthen his mind and body, we attended a Tae Kwon Do lesson at a local studio. Jonah was interested but not exactly chomping at the bit to sign up.

Well, the Lord has shown us that there are certain experiences Jonah needs. He needs to learn self-control and perseverence (Don't we all!). So Mom and Jonah are returning from his first lesson and he enjoyed it. Yay! or should I say HIYAHH!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Strangers Have The Best Candy

What started as a pre-planned (as in babies fed/diaper bag fully stocked/boys' bladders empty/checkbook ready) trip to Costco turned out to be a lesson in wisdom. Just as all 6 of us were rounding the last section, ready to tackle the snack aisle before heading for the checkout, we were stopped by a nice old man's declaration: "I'm a twin, too!" He came up to me and stated "I believe there's a special place in heaven for mothers of twins." I liked him already. As Justin approached, he yelled "There's the FOT (father of twins)!" and gave him a big hug. He offered Jonah and James some gum, adding the disclaimer "I assure you this gum is fresh from the grocery store. I don't deal drugs." His name is Don, he told us his twin brother's name is Ron (which affirmed my decision to alliterate all our kids' names rather than rhyme them), and he was so full of energy. In a matter of 1 minute he gave us advice on keeping memories of the twins as they grow, emphasized the importance of piano (he plays at the local senior center, where he could very possibly reside himself), and gave Justin more hugs than I have in the past 10 years. After a short "Goodbye" and "Have a nice day", he danced away (at least I think we said goodbye - he was still talking as he left). Really, a breath of fresh air. Maybe someday Jack or Jed will be that old man twin that you run into at Costco, dancing in the aisles, talking about the sweet things that can be found in a piece of gum and in life.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Resident Evil

Merriam-Webster defines "evil" as morally reprehensible, sinful, or wicked. I define "evil" as Trader Joe's All Natural Dark Chocolate-Covered Joe-Joe's with Vanilla Bean Cream. And when they're frozen (thanks for the extra evilness, Tracy), they are even more devilishly delectable. So, since misery (of the marvelous kind) loves company, go out to your local Trader Joe's and sample one - if you can stop at just one. If evil was round, these Joe-Joe's would be Satan himself.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Father's Love

So I 'm a little late in wishing all you dads out there a Happy Father's Day! We celebrated with my brother and his family and my dad with a very informal barbeque, watching all our kids play in the pool. Justin had last Saturday "off" to do what he wanted to do , which was sleep until 10am and watch movies on his laptop - in peace. Later that day he took Jonah and James to see Kung Fu Panda. For one of his presents, I made him a slideshow, and due to technical difficulties, I am unable to post it, but here's the song I used: "Father's Love" by Bob Carlisle.

So thank you, Justin, for being a faithful and loving father to our Fantastic Four.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1John 3:1

Thursday, June 12, 2008

$150 Ahead

Yay, yay, yay! We just started saving about $150/month in a matter of minutes. Jed and Jack just finished their LAST can of formula! Many of you know the story - I nursed both of them as soon as they were born but 1)this Bessie just didn't produce enough milk for the calves and 2) since the babies were preemies the doctor instructed us to put them on high calorie formula to supplement the breast milk. Well, they had reflux and despite emptying out their stomachs on our favorite t-shirts time and time again, they still managed to grow. I think I was about to throw myself off Suicide Bridge in Pasadena, up to my ears in baby vomit, when the GI specialist finally recommended this formula, and they finally stopped all the throw up (HELLO, could Dr. Tran have mentioned this MONTHS before every piece of clothing I owned had inadvertently been acid-washed??!!). So, the twins had been on this formula and, mind you, feeding two babies ain't cheap, even when you get this stuff at Costco! Anyway, they're on whole milk now. Since we prefer organic and there's still two of them to feed, I hear my bubble bursting as I write - that $150 in formula just might turn into $ for organic milk, with any change to spare going toward gas. Well, so much for new clothes - let's just hope that 80's acid- wash look comes back real soon.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, James!

Another milestone in our family - James turned 4 years old yesterday! His birthday party last Saturday was a long time coming. We didn't celebrate his birthday last year because the twins had just been born and life was SO crazy (not that it isn't now) since we were adjusting so many new things. No, we didn't actually forget the day last year, but he didn't get a chance to celebrate it. So this year his request for a "Speed Racer" party was fulfilled, complete with a custom car craft and race car races. Here he is holding his very own Mach 5. He also got a tower of racer-decorated cupcakes, way too many Speed Racer Hot Wheels, and a little bit of a tan from playing outside. I think he's forgiven us for not celebrating last year, but, knowing this little guy, he'll bring it up when we least expect it as leverage for something he REALLY wants. Happy Birthday, Minis!

Livin' Inside Out

On May 16th and 17th, Sonrise ISP (our homeschooling group) presented the musical "Livin' Inside Out". They do musicals every year, and it's a great experience for all the kids that participate. This was Jonah's second year in the choir - see him singing his heart out? But what this picture DOESN'T show is what he was doing most of the time he was up there. I suppose all that singing was boring him - he kept looking down picking his nails! And he was in the front row! HELLO! I dont' know - maybe he felt that two years of this was two years too many, or his concern for good hygiene took over. But considering he could have been picking some other part of his body, I guess it could have been worse. I just hope next year he doesn't pull out a crossword puzzle to work on during the performance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Riddle

I told a few of you about this, but figured it was time to share it with everyone.

Question: How is it possible to be in the bathroom standing in front of the toilet and still get your pee all in the hallway?

Answer: Ask James.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Victory

I did it! I did it! I survived the day (so far), venturing out and accomplishing a few firsts with the boys...

I took them all to our homeschool group's park day. Now, I've done that before, but for the first time I let Jed and Jack sit in the stroller out of their car seats. I think they enjoyed the freedom to squirm around more, stretch their legs, and feel the breeze and fresh air. Thanks to other moms Norma and Valerie for holding them when they finally wanted "out" for a bit.

Then, we went to the grocery store. Yes, the GROCERY STORE. BY MYSELF. Amazing what boneless skinless chicken breast at $1.99/lb will make you do. So, after an afternoon at the park, we went to Albertson's for the last day of the sale, and to pick up a few other things. I had both babies in their car seats this time, Jack in the main part of the cart and Jed in the front, with Jonah and James orbiting around it. I loaded the bottom rack of the cart with as much as it could hold and we paid and left. Other than the few whines from Jed, who was either dissatisfied every time the cart stopped moving or unhappy that he was back in his car seat, the trip was very manageable.

So by the time we got back home I had thanked God profusely for enabling me to handle the park and the store with the boys. Of course, coming home was made more bearable after a quick drive through Starbuck's for a venti mint mocha frappuccino - a treat just for me and my thighs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Better than Beautiful

Whether you've been married for 1 day or 1,000,000 days, there are words that a wife always loves to hear: "I love you", "You look more beautiful than the day we met", "Are you losing weight?" (you know he REALLY loves you), and "I'm wrong, you're right", to name a few. Well, the other day I heard something that ranks at the top of such a list: "This is one of the best cookies I've ever had!" Why such a big deal to me? Well, I made chewy brownie cookies from a Crisco recipe, and Justin is big on neither chocolate nor cookies. So, that means that after 12 years of marriage, there are things that we do for each other that are still fresh, new, and unpredictable. So sparkle up your relationships, ladies, with a batch of chewy brownie cookies. If you chow a dozen of them in one sitting and he still asks you if you've lost weight, you know it's LOVE.

Happy Anniversary!

On April 27, 2008, we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary (yes, lots of celebrations lately). The gift for 12 years of marriage is linen, but Justin went the more traditional route - yogurt and roses. We started the morning at church where we dedicated Jedidiah and Jack (more about that later), then we had a nice lunch with my dad and sister-in-law. After that, we realized we had to pick some things up at Costco. So, in addition to the few necessities, Justin came out with my presents: one yogurt from the food court and two dozen red roses! I love it! So I enjoyed the drive home eating my yogurt (with Jonah and James incessantly asking when they were going to get their share) and my lovely roses are now on display in the dining room. I wouldn't have thought 12 years ago that's how we would celebrate our 12th anniversary, but I wouldn't have it any other way (well, maybe without the kids whining in the back seat, but that's everyday anyway)!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

HB2Me!


So I turned 36 a few weeks ago, and as part of my present Justin gave me the ENTIRE day off. He contacted my friends and planned a day for all of us to go to Disneyland. Well, you know women - always changing their minds. So upon meeting in the early morning, dressed for a day with Mickey Mouse and coated in a thin film of sunscreen, we decided instead to hang out in Orange County for a day of shopping and eating. And shopping. And eating. Did I mention shopping? And eating? From The Corner Bakery for breakfast, to Claim Jumper for lunch, to Tokyo Lobby for dinner, to Cherry on Top for dessert, I had a restful and fun day. Really, that was what I wanted. I appreciated all the work Justin put into planning a "day away" for me, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was gone from morning to night, and I came home happy and one year older. At this rate, I can't wait to turn 37!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy First Birthday!

Wow! Our baby boys are one year old! While we really have felt every day of the last year, it has gone by fairly quickly (minute by minute, but quick minutes). They are healthy, happy, and growing into fun little boys! Jed is our "little James" - he is very talkative and he shows his emotions from one extreme to the other, from very fussy to very happy! Jack is "little Jonah" - he has an even temper, is playful, and calm for the most part. What a responsibility we have as parents to raise our sons to become faithful men of integrity (Romans 10:17) . What a joy it is to have a "full quiver" (Psalm 127:4-5). What a task it is to clean up after them all! :-) We know that by God's grace and mercy, we're living a blessed life!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Snake Bus

So I started teaching James how to read. I know he's only 3 1/2, but, believe me, it's totally no pressure. He already knows all his letters and sounds, so, reading comes next, right? We're using reading rods, which are little interlocking blocks that each have a letter on it. From what I understand, using tactile skills enhances visual learning. Anyhow, this is how today's lesson went:

Me: James, put these letters together: b, u, and s. What sound does "b" make?
James: Buh.
Me: What sound does "u" make?
James: Uh.
Me: What sound does "s" make?
James: Sss.
Me: OK, now, let's put those blocks and sounds together. What does it say?
James: Buh-uh-sss.
Me: Again. Faster.
James: Buh-uh-sss.
Me: You're doing it! Again!
James: Buh-uh-sss!
Me: Yay! What does it say?
James: Snake!

I guess that saying "You get what you pay for" currently applies to James's education.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

3:10 to Arcadia


Sunday was my birthday and Josephine surprised me with a rare gift - A whole day off. I spent the morning doing our taxes and trimming some grass. Then I thought, "What am I doing?" After cleaning up I got in my car and tried to figure out what to do. There were too many options. I wandered to Costco then settled on renting movies and heading to Arcadia. Josephine had arranged for me to get an uninterrupted night of sleep at Hotel Golden West (the guest house at my brother-in-law's).

So, I grabbed a burger at Tops and two movies and settled in to "cocoon". It was very quiet. I ate my whole lunch without interruption while watching the movie. After 3:10 to Yuma I pondered my next step - another movie? take a nap? listen to my thoughts?

Well, the strangest thing happened. I couldn't relax. It was too quiet and I missed Josephine and the boys. After the movie I spent 30 minutes going back and forth. Should I stay or should I go? It was weird. Here I had what I thought I wanted - peace and quiet. In the end, the silence was deafening.

I went inside and chatted with Laurence, Cina, Lolo, AJ and Lea. I explained why I was leaving and about 9 p.m. I headed home. The boys were asleep when I arrived and I ended up watching the other video - Battlestar Galactica in bed with Josephine at my side - as it should be.

Then around 11 pm I put my head down on the pillow to sleep. Right then Jedidiah woke up and cried for about an hour. Then Jack woke up and cried as well. But eventually they both went back to sleep. I slept on the couch while Jed watched Baby Einstein and eventually slept. Josephine collapsed in bed after finally getting Jack back to sleep.

Normally, it would bother me but this time I was glad to be home. Tired but glad.

Funny thing is on Saturday afternoon, I left around 3 p.m. and headed back home around 9 p.m. Left at 3 and gone for 6 hours. 36.

Happy 36th Birthday to me!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who let these dogs out?

video

Nana sent all the boys a card for Valentine's Day, but it's not just any card - it's one of those that plays a song when you open it. The last time she sent one of these, it was for Thanksgiving and the song was "Another One Bites the Dust" - Jonah and James still love opening and closing that card to no end. So, this video is what happens "when the dogs are let out". Check out James the second time they play the card, after Justin tells them "Again!"

I think James' antics are his conscious way of making up for the first year of his life, which was filled with colic, sleepless nights, and lots of neediness. That's when we thought FOR SURE we'd stop at two. ;-) Now he's this character who will do anything for a laugh. And he's showing off all the dancing skillz he got from his mom.

So Tired

So within the past few weeks, our family has gotten "what's going around". All four boys had ear infections at the same time (do the math: 2x4=8 ears infected), had to take medicine at the same time, and were generally irritable at the same time. Justin and I had colds at the same time, so our house was pretty much sick bay. After 10 long days of giving everyone antibiotics 3 times a day (do the math: 4x3x10=120 doses of medicine), we got better - until this week. Jack got a cold, and, thankfully, it was only a cold and so far no one else has gotten it. Funny thing is, this picture is of Jed, but it might as well be any of us. Living in a house of 6 people sure is tiring. I wish I had my own adult-sized exersaucer that I could take a nap in. I wish I could take a nap - anywhere, for that matter.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gum Boy

video
Be sure to watch the video before reading the following comments:



No, this is NOT why he has two cavities.
And according to the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Oz, and snopes.com, it won't be in his stomach for 7 years.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Two Cavities

Josephine took James and Jonah to the dentist today. James has two cavities. Coincidentally they are located right where he likes to hide his chewable vitamins. Maybe we shouldn't let him use vitamins like chewing tobacco anymore.

"James, it has been over a hour. Have you finished eating that vitamin yet?" "No."

No more vitamins for you!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sour and Sweet


Last night was sweet. Everyone slept through the night. EVERYONE! We really needed that. So today we had a lazy morning, went to Wendy's and then to Wingate Park. This is the same park where Jonah would scream at the train and chase his shadow. (He did it again just for old-time's sake). After eating lunch in the car, we took all the boys to the play equipment. The boys had a great time with two girls also 6 and 3. Josephine struck up a conversation with their mom and it turns out her husband used to work for Aventis when Josephine did. Small world!

The weather was great (This is why we live in California!) and the boys got some needed exercise.

Josephine just put down Jedidiah (aka Mr. Sour) and as I type this I can smell the sourdough starter I just prepared. I think it's so cool that you can leave food out for two weeks and then use it to make great-tasting bread. Yum!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Late Night Party

Jedidiah was overtired last night. We started getting him ready to sleep at 8:30 and finally after hours of rocking and mini-naps, I gave up at 2:00 a.m. I didn't have the energy to walk him around anymore. So I put Baby Einstein on. He calmed down and I laid down on the couch. The video repeated until 5:00 a.m. when Josephine took over. Jed slept part of that time but not much.

Lesson: When daddy watches the twins during the day make sure they nap throughout the day or expect a long night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day Dr. Tukaj

As if spending Lincoln's birthday at the doctor's wasn't enough, James decided to send us back for Valentine's Day. Yesterday, Josephine met me at the door with the look that says "Help!" It was clear at that point that she was too sick to care for the boys. After finishing dinner she retired to bed. I took the day off today which allowed her to get some needed rest.

This morning James told us his ear hurt and his appetite was poor. Fortunately, we got an appt for 4 and James, Jonah and I headed back to Glendora where Dr. Tukaj confirmed that James had two ear infections and lots of phlegm in his lungs. So, now we have eight ear infections and one sick mom - Happy Valentine's Day!

P.S. It's 11:29 p.m. and Jedidiah shows no signs of going to sleep anytime soon.

Cheaper by the Half Dozen

On Monday we did what most Americans do to celebrate Lincoln's birthday - We took our four boys to visit a Polish pediatrician in Glendora. It turns out they had six ear infections. Jonah, Jedidiah and Jonah were infected in both ears. Now it makes sense Jed could not sleep - two bad ear infections, high fever, wheezing, dehydration, and fatigue - I would be grumpy too.

So off we went to CVS where they filled our trunk with a variety of pharmacological potions.

Josephine has been playing nurse ever since.

Happy Birthday Abe!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammy's After Party


At 8:00 last night we started watching the Grammy's. As you know these award shows are usually the beginning of a long night of celebration and partying for the celebrities.

At around 10:30 we put the last child down and started cleaning up from another exciting day. At about midnight, Josephine was in bed and I was preparing to turn in when Jedidiah decided to start his own after party.

For the next four hours Josephine and I took turns chaperoning our little "performer" around the house. He wasn't content to just scream, yell and throw up (like they do at most parties). Nor did he want to sit on the couch or lie on the floor. He had to be carried around the room. After throwing up a couple times, he finally kept down Tylenol for his 102.7 fever.

At 4:00 a.m. Josephine and I were exhausted and Jedidiah showed no signs of letting up. He was going to "party" to the break of dawn. Finally, out of sheer desperation we put him in a chair with Baby Einstein playing and he watched it for an hour or more before falling asleep.

Jedidiah woke up this morning but hasn't kept down any fluids or cereal. Apparently, he partied too hard last night. So hard that we'll have to wisk him away to the doctor's later today.

And the Grammy for the best "late night screaming when you should be asleep because mommy and daddy are exhausted" goes to....Jedidiah Riggs!

Josephine and I are honored to accept this Grammy on Jedidiah's behalf. We hope this is the last time he ever wins this award.

Monday, February 4, 2008

LOST

Yes, we are fans of the show "LOST". We borrowed a friend's DVD sets to catch up through season 3, and we watched the premier of season 4 last Thursday. So who is part of the Oceanic 6??!! Doesn't Charlie's haircut look much better in Hurley's visions? But that's not really why I'm writing again. We experienced another kind of "lost" this past weekend...

James, the little helper that he is, helped me unload the car from a Target run last Friday. He was in charge of putting away the ranch dressing and the two-pack of toothpaste. I found the ranch in the refrigerator, but the toothpaste was no where to be found. Yes, LOST. And we were already out of toothpaste. I asked James where he put the toothpaste, and for the past three days his response has been one of the following:
1) He would avoid eye contact, shrug his shoulders, and continue what he was doing.
2) He'd make a beeline to his room, waste about 5 minutes in there doing who knows what, and return with the reply of "I don't know, Mom."
3) He'd open and close the same drawer in the kitchen about 2 times, and check "underneath" the closest (and smallest) baby toy. Isn't it obvious that two boxes of toothpaste CAN'T be hidden by a rattle?

So, we'd resorted to using the kids' toothpaste, and may I say that the flavor of "Fruit Pursuit" leaves A LOT to be desired - I always chase it with a one minute swish of mouthwash so my teeth feel somewhat clean.

But today, what was LOST is now found. The toothpaste was, in fact, in the kitchen drawer that James had kept opening and closing, but it was under the box of Ziploc freezer bags. I won't even ask him WHY it was under the Ziplocs, let alone in the drawer. I'll just look forward to fresh breath and another new episode this Thursday night.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Teefees


Check the ticker at the top of the blog - Jedidiah and Jack are 10 months old today! Praise God that He has kept them healthy and growing! Speaking of growing, here's the update:
Jed (below) now has two bottom

teeth erupting. It's hard to tell if this is causing him to be fussy, since he's usually feisty and a real mover and shaker. He loves playing with rattling toys, and even wants to take one with him when he naps. And when he hits himself in the face with it, he lets you know. He doesn't care to nurse anymore, and with the teeth coming in, there's no objection from Mommy.
Jack (upper right) is more easy going than Jed. Jack will smile every time you make eye contact with him. I think his "ba-bas" might mean "Mama." I've heard him saying it over and over when he can't see me then he stops when I show up. We'll see - if these boys are like their mom they'll be talkers for sure! We think Jack might be left handed, just like his two grandmothers (Nana and Lola), and his Uncle Louie. He seems to favor his left hand whenever he reaches or grabs for things.

God is so good - I must admit the days are more manageable than before. I attended a Women's Ministry conference at church last Saturday for the entire day, and Justin took care of the 4. After that, Justin stated that he no longer thinks that my day is exponentially harder than his work day like it used to be. So I told him I have no problem leaving him with all the boys more often.

Desperate Housewife

Confessions Part II
I love sweets. I love desserts. I really love chocolate. I love sweet chocolate desserts. It's the end of the month and NONE of those are to be found in the house. Well, there are chocolate chips, but after weeks of surviving on that for dessert, it got a bit old. AND too much chocolate makes my skin break out.

Problem: Need sugar. Now. Don't want chocolate chips. Face doesn't want chocolate chips.
Solution: Leftover holiday frosting in the fridge. It's green (it's supposed to be!). It's sweet. It's now gone.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jonah is 6!

6 years ago, I was due to give birth to my first child. 6 years and 13 days ago, he was actually born. Jonah came almost 2 weeks early, on January 2, 2002. I love telling the story:
On January 1, 2002, my brother and sister-in-law (also pregnant at the time with their daughter) came over to watch "Best in Show". We ate Mexican food then went to Baskin Robbins for a Cappuccino Blast (decaf, of course. I'm lactose intolerant so the results of this dessert is an entirely different story), then back to our house to watch the movie. My brother and sister-in-law didn't leave too late, but I remember telling them on their way out "I'm probably going to be late in delivering this baby." So, about 3 hours later, my water breaks! Hello! I had time to take a shower while Justin paced up and down the hallway doing absolutely nothing. We arrived at the hospital to find that I was already 7cm dilated! Yes! I decided against getting an epidural, and other than Justin's finger in my face telling me to "blow the candle", and him warning me when the next contraction was coming, everything was fine. After 3 hours of labor, out came our firstborn. He has since set the bar very high: he slept through the night at 11 weeks, was a very good eater, and, to this day, he is an even-tempered and obedient child. I suppose there was no where to go from there but, well, down... OK, OK, our other sons are healthy and well-behaved - I shouldn't compare our children to one another. Hence, we had three more since Jonah. I'm done. Done, done, done.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Our Little Angel

On December 23, 2007, Jonah participated in the Children's Christmas Choir at church. I found out that they had to dress like angels. Jonah's response: "But angels aren't BOYS, they're GIRLS!" Shows how much he remembered from our "Gabriel visits Mary to tell her she's going to give birth to Jesus" bible study. So what does he do? He chooses to wear the halo with the feathers on it. The feathers. Just when I thought I had him figured out.