Sunday, April 27, 2008

You Might Be Surprised to Know . . .

that I do Tae Kwon Do. I started it way back before I was pregnant with the twins as a way of losing my baby weight from Jameson, but I had to take a break once I found out Truman & Amelia were on their way.  I am currently a green belt, which is considered an intermediate rank.  I have several belts to go to get to black, so I'm not exactly a lethal weapon - yet.  Nonetheless, with the comparatively small amount of technique I know, I could probably do a lot of damage to an unsuspecting mugger.  I don't ever want to be jumped, but I am just waiting for the day that I can use my "skills".

I was going to make this blog about the tournament I was in this past weekend, but writing about being jumped reminded me of a funny story that I thought was worth sharing.  

Let me preface this story by saying that I am pretty paranoid when it comes to safety, so I would say that I tend to be more on guard than the average person.

Several months after starting Karate, I was on my way home with just enough time to change and head out to class.  At the time, Jameson was our only child, so James normally took care of him by himself while I was gone.  On this particular evening, I was in a big enough rush that I believe I left my car running and the garage door open.

I ran upstairs, got dressed, and I started to head out the door.  However, just as I am getting to the door that leads to our garage, I see that someone starts to open it.  I remember that I left the garage door, and a tiny bit of fear enters my mind.  I am within a step of the door, so I quickly kick the door closed and press up against it to lock it.  I assume someone is trying to take advantage of my open garage to come into my house.  I yell, "Hey, who is it?".  I hear, "uh, uh. . . ", so I assume the worst - that this creep was trying to get into my house and was not prepared to answer my question.  Appalled at his boldness but more angry than scared, I yell, "Get the @#$! outta here you weirdo!".  I am shocked that he continues to try to open the door.  I am already planning the beating that I will impart . . .  with my Karate skills of course.

Then I hear what sounds like a familiar voice, and I'm slightly embarrassed thinking that it might be someone I know.  Sure enough, I hear, "It's Kip & Clara.".   I open the door, smile, and apologize.  It was my mother-in-law & brother-in-law.  We all had a good laugh.  

Apparently, my husband was expecting them, but he failed to warn me about it.  I wasn't exactly expecting them to come through my garage door.  I am certain that I threw in a few more expletives than I included above, but you get the point.  I think I still kinda freak out my brother-in-law, just a little.

So . . . don't show up to my house unannounced or I may just save that beating I planned for you.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We Got a New Dog!

He named himself "Black" and neighs because he forgot momentarily that dogs bark.  This is JJ's most recent imaginary identity.  Funny, but not nearly uncommon here.  His imagination is running wild recently, and he loves pretending he is anyone but himself.  Each night after bath time, he insists on wearing his Batman or Superman pajamas.  He is then magically transformed into a superhero and asks us to call him either "Batman" or "Superman", per his attire.  I have to say, "Batman, do you want anything else to eat?" or "Superman, go pick out the books you want me to read.".  He enjoys it, and I enjoy playing along with him.

Tonight, we were in the middle of this routine when he decided he didn't want to be Batman even though I had the pj's all ready to go.  I go to put the shirt over his head and he says, "No, I don't want to be Batman".  I respond, a bit surprised, "You don't?  Okay, I'll be Batman".  Then I proceed to try to put the 2T shirt over my head.  As I pull it over my head, I say, "See!  I'm Batman.".  I look over at Jameson and realize that as I was pulling his tiny shirt over my head, he was pulling his pants over his head.  Almost as soon as I proclaim my new superhero status, he proclaims his, "I'm Pantsman!".  At this point, I just lost it.  He's a nut, but I shouldn't be surprised.  He gets his quirky sense of humor from me.

He's not only started imagining he is other people or animals, but he has also started trying to talk to me using fake words - think of Jabba the Hut in the Star Wars movies.  I play along, and he tries to outdo me by coming up with longer fake sentences each time I say one.  I'm not sure what gave him this idea, but it's still funny.  Usually, I can remember some book, cartoon, or movie where he's getting his crazy ideas, but I'm not sure about this one.

I have countless other quirky JJ stories, but I must get to sleep.  James is out of town on business, which leaves me all alone with 3 under 3.  I pray that I make it to morning with the energy to do this 2 more nights.  I'm not complaining though.  I'd rather be with my babies than away from them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Who's Your Momma?

It seems that Truman definitely knows the answer to this one.  For about 4 weeks now, he has been making this "ma"-like noise when he gets very desperate for food.  Today, the word "mama" actually came out of his mouth.  I know he's only 5 months, and you probably think I'm crazy but James can back me up on this one (except for the "mama" part since he's out of town).  I ran over to see him since he kind of caught me off guard, and he gave me an open-mouthed smile.  It still melts my heart when I know my kids are happy to see me.

I thought I would get this "first word" down in writing since JJ started saying "mama" at 6 months, but I never wrote down the date.  I must say that I'm a bit surprised that Amelia was not the first to utter a word.  I was certain she would be first.  That just goes to show you that your children will never stop surprising you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

On the Other Hand, Some Never Learn Their Lesson

I am still recovering from the "Legend" bug, so I have been on the internet more than usual.  I happened upon this blog while looking for other twin blogs, and I just can't help myself from sharing.

I started reading some of her posts, and I just find myself compelled to read more.  If you want to know what it's like to constantly sabotage yourself financially, please read.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Best Lessons Are Not Learned At School

Despite being less than 3, my kids have taught me far more in the last 2 plus years than I ever learned at school. Before I had them, I always wondered about the whole motherhood bond - you know, that whole thing about 'you wouldn't understand unless you're a mom' thing. Well, now I understand that . . . and much more.

Since having Jameson, James and I have started to think about how we envision our lives 5, 10, and 20 years from now. I think having children forces people to give serious thought to how you will provide for the financial stability of your family and still have the flexibility to live the life you want with them. After all, why have children if you can't enjoy them? Don't kid yourself either though. Financial stability is important also because it is what allows you the freedom to live the life you want.

Financial stability means something different to everyone. To us (and I am speaking here on James's behalf), it means that we can live the way we want to live with our children, travel when we can & want to travel, allow ourselves to have fun without worry, and provide for our future and that of our children. That may seem like a tall order, but for a very long time I always envisioned leaving behind some type of "empire" to my children. As they and I grow older, my resolve only grows stronger. Allow me to give you some background.

My father emigrated from Mexico to the US after what he believed would be a temporary position became permanent. After a few of life's hard knocks, he began work as an independent consultant. He was successful enough to need to hire more help and so began his engineering company. I was 3 and half when he incorporated, so as I grew up, so did the company. I have had the good fortune to watch it, first, from afar through its ups and downs and, second, from within as we have worked together to build something of which we are both proud.

He has been my greatest teacher in matters of business, and I have learned very much through his example. I know one of the greatest lessons I have learned from watching him is that we must pursue our dreams because it's certain that they will not pursue us. That is, if you want to accomplish something, then you are the only one with the power to set it in motion.

Since I first saw Forrest Gump, it has been one of my favorite movies. I could never really identify why, but after getting JJ's nasty bug this weekend I had a chance to do some reading and realized why. I started reading Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money that the Middle Class and Poor Don't (highly recommended) upon the suggestion of our financial advisor (just hired). Later, I was in the shower reflecting on what I had read, and for some reason I thought of Forrest Gump. One of the messages I have taken away from the book (so far) is that education and intelligence are really only useful if you know how to apply them (in this case, specifically financial intelligence). I suppose Forrest Gump is a perfect example of someone who wasn't "intelligent" by the generally accepted definition and not highly educated, but he always pursued what he wanted.

I digress, but the point of all of this is that my childhood, professional, and now parental experience has taught me that sitting back and waiting for that "big break" is really more a myth than a reality. I think I always knew that deep down, but for some reason I just had not gotten around to acting upon it. Maybe it was fear. Maybe it was lack of knowledge. Maybe it was laziness. Maybe a bit of all three, but I am ready to change that now.

I'm not talking about quitting my job or even changing it (in fact, my stake in the company is one of my greatest assets & accomplishments), but many of the strategies I read about in Rich Dad Poor Dad ring true for me. James and I have talked about them for some time, but I am committing myself to acting upon them. I watched my father follow his own dream (with some nudging from my mother) and build a great life for himself and his family. I want to set the same example for my children. You know, "Stupid is as stupid does." as Forrest would say, so I refuse to be paralyzed by fear - that would be stupid.

Here's a little extra for you . . .the Trubaby watching his mom writing up her post.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Rude Awakening

I woke up at about 12:47 a.m. this morning to Jameson throwing up on me. He's now waiting for me to come back to bed with him, but I can't lie that I'm a bit apprehensive to go back in there. I just sat down after cleaning up dirty clothes, bed sheets, the floor and bathroom, and taking my second shower of the night.

Fast forward 12 hours since I had to get JJ to sleep last night.

Talk about a rough night. It sounds like we're not the only ones having a tough time this cold and flu season, which I thought was supposed to be over. Well, last night I was very abruptly reminded that it's still making it's way around. I got Jameson to bed at about 11 p.m., and I fell asleep with him. I shot up out of bed at about 12:30 a.m. when I hear him starting to cry and cough. It all happened so fast all I could do was contain the mess with what else but my own body. Yuck! What a mess! Of course, Jameson was very quick to point out that he "made a mess". I hollered at James to come help me with the aftermath, and I think I woke up Truman (poor guy!). There was nothing I could do. James threw JJ in the shower, and I worked on cleaning up the mess. Unfortunately, poor little Truman just cried until I was ready to feed him since it was time for him to eat.

It's no fun, but I know it's part of being a kid. I just hope it's not as bad as our last stomach virus. That one knocked all 3 of us out for at least a week. I was 7 weeks pregnant with the twins and had to make a trip to the hospital due to dehydration. Jameson seems in pretty good spirits though. He's not eating a lot, but it's probably better that way until he's feeling more like himself.

Now I'm just hoping my little ones don't pick up this bug. They are troopers though. I'm pretty sure we're going on 3 or 4 colds/bugs this season for each of them. James has been hit a couple of times, but somehow I am hanging in there. I'm using positive thinking and so far it seems to be working. We'll see if I hold up.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Roll with the Changes

Amelia rolled over today. She's probably already done it before, but this is the first time I have actually SEEN her do it. I thought it was kinda funny, so I took a picture. Here she is screaming and screeching about her displeasure of being on her stomach. Yes, I said screeching. She has taken to screeching really loudly whenever she is excited or upset. JJ and I tell her she sounds like a dolphin or a little squealing pig. It's really quite amusing. Maybe I'll catch that on tape one day.

In other news, JJ is starting daycare next week. Well, he's actually going to The Goddard School, which we decided after considering a handful of places that it's, by far, the best we've seen. I should also add that each school is independently owned & managed, so I am by no means endorsing just any Goddard school. Anyway, I am actually excited for him because we can tell that he's craving the social interaction. They appear to do a great job there, and coincidentally we went to high school (grade school too with James) with the Director. She brings her own daughter there, so I think it says a lot about her trust in her staff. We'll keep you posted on his progress.

As for the Trubaby, he is happy as ever. I have seen him roll over also, but he's not as eager to do it as Amelia so I haven't caught him on camera yet. Words I would use to describe these days are agreeable, strong, and very affectionate.

I have been fortunate enough to continue to nurse both of them. One thing I really love about breastfed babies is how there really is not substitute for Mom. Take last night for instance. James stayed home by himself with all 3 babies from about 6 to 11 p.m. That is a tall order. Kudos James! Anyway, apparently Amelia went on a hunger strike and refused to take formula (although I am certain she was starving). She was relatively calm when I came in, but when she saw me she gave me a knowing smile and was eager to eat. Truman was sleeping when I came home, and apparently, he had taken 8 to 10 ounces in 5 hours, which is a lot for a 4 month old considering I fed him just before I left. Well, despite his hearty appetite while I was gone, he was still ready to nurse within an hour after I returned, which I think was more a result of being away from mom for a long time rather than actual hunger. They are both like this at night. Nobody goes down without nursing first.

After getting home and feeding them, both twins were ready to just go to bed. JJ was, as usual, another story. He eventually went to sleep but not without putting me down first. This is how it often works. I will be telling him a story or doing some mental imagery (helps calm him), and I start to fall asleep. He eventually gives up and falls asleep too. This is also why I don't get to blog very often.

Here's some updated pictures. Enjoy!

The twins with their usually expressive faces.

Oops! Here's proof that we break all the safe sleep rules.

The Baby Thinker

This one was also taken today. While Amelia screeched and hollered downstairs, Truman was upstairs sleeping the day away. Sorry about the bad lighting. I'm still experimenting with my new camera.

Here is Jameson sharing his TV chair with Amelia just after waking up.