12/26/2006

Happy Holidays and "Let's Go Shopping"! - for free!

So - about a year or so ago, I filled out (again) one of those Class Action Lawsuits - this one was against Kmart. It was about accessibility issues in the aisles of Kmart filed by a person who had problems with a wheelchair. Well, when I read the limitations of the Class Action Lawsuit - I realized that I too had the same issues when I used my side-by-side double stroller - which is the same width as a standard wheelchair. I recall being unable to push it thru the aisles in our local Kmart. So, I filled out the online info. and filed my "part" of the lawsuit. Now, usually when I've filled out such things I've rec'd a check for maybe $1.50 (that's ONE dollar and fifty cents) or a coupon for 15% off an item of something I won't ever buy, etc.

This was different my friend.

Saturday, we're all sitting around the kitchen table and someone is knocking on our door. Turns out to be our mailman. He asked for me and he had a small padded envelope. I had to sign in various places and on the certified mail label. I thought I was being sued or something.

I took the envelope to the table and nervously opened it. Then, all these pink gift cards spilled out on the table. I was confused. Then I looked at them - more than a DOZEN $50.oo gift cards and a few more were laid out on the table. $692.29 (some were unmarked and when I called were that odd amount) in gift cards to be exact!!!!!!!!!!!! We were just looking at each other in disbelief. I re-read the attached letter. Yup, I was "eligible" for "my part" of the class action lawsuit.

But wait ---

Laura looked at the letter and said to me "You do realize there's a check attached to here don't you"? Huh?? I just assumed it was the "accounting" of the enclosed gift cards.

Nope...


A check for $2769.19 - holy moley.


For a grand total of over $3,461.00.


All that time filling out various forms finally paid off.


We're going shopping today - at Kmart.


Yup, Happy Holidays!!!!

12/14/2006

Another Christmas Funny

Christmas Dress $25.00
Family Photo Pack $50.00
Christmas Cards $30.00
Sending the cards out before realizing your daughter’s flipping off Santa Claus
PRICELESS

Christmas Funny

11/29/2006

4 hour meetings…

…should be outlawed!

8:00am to noon - whose bright idea was this? I'm not even half-alive at 8am (altho I do get to work at 7am). Not to mention totally boring! Let's see - I counted all my teeth - twice; counted the ceiling tiles; mentally figured out what day of the week my birthday will fall on next year (April 13th is a Friday for those who are wondering); drank lots of coffee - anything to keep me awake.

Whew! That's over - until the next one - next WEEK!

11/16/2006

In case you were wondering...

...yes, they did wake up!


Uggggggg. That's the last time I put out negative thoughts into the universe.


Seth woke up exactly 7 minutes after I posted the last post. Luckily he went back to sleep about 20 minutes later.


But Logan woke up at 12:45am with the tv remote in one hand and a toy dinosaur in the other. He was talking outside our door and Laura got up with him thinking both boys were awake and talking in the hall. Usually we put up a gate in their doorway - both to keep them from wandering and to keep our dog from going in their room. But we neglected to put up the gate last night. Anyway, Logan had put on the tv, and used the TiVo remote to select a cartoon that was recorded - I have NO idea how he did that. But Laura was able to get him back to sleep 30 minutes later with little difficulty.


Lesson learned = the first cardinal rule of blogging is still true!

11/15/2006

Secrets to Sea World (and other stuff)

So, you ask --- how DO you get into Sea World (http://www.seaworld.com/SWC/default.aspx) for only $5.60 when the regular adult price is $54.00???

You volunteer to be a "Class Mom" to a group of 21 Kindergarteners.


What was I thinking???


Foster's class is going on a field trip to Sea World on December 11th. It's a Monday. That's my "short" day - meaning I only work 4 hours that day. So, to have a full day off of work, I only have to use 4 hours of vacation time. Seemed like a good idea at the time.


I know I'll have fun - I'm really looking forward to it actually. And so is Foster.


The school bus leaves at 9am and must leave Sea World at 1pm to get back to school in time for dismissal. It's probably less than a 25 minute drive. I could ride on the big, yellow school bus. But, if I drive my own car, I can "keep" Foster at Sea World when his class leaves and then we can go on the rides, in the shops, see all the things his class won't get to see on this "Educational Field Trip". I'm going to go with that option.


I mean, this is my chance to get into Sea World for about $50 less than a regular ticket (Foster's ticket and bus will cost a total of about $8 and I think the regular kid price to SW is about $48). And I don't want to feel rushed out of there. So, I'll be the good volunteer "Mom" to the 21 kids (mine included) and enjoy a day at Shamu's Home.


This is my very first "Class Mom" trip - I'm a bit nervous but also very excited. Mostly I want to watch my own kid interact with all the other kids and his teacher - that's something I really never get to see. And of course, watch all the little ones see the amazment of Sea World.


Okay - here's the "other stuff". I'm going to break the first cardinal rule of blogging and state that the twins have been asleep since they came home from daycare at 5:15pm. It's now after 9pm and they are still asleep. I'm still afraid to breathe loudly, don't wanna wake them. Yes, they missed dinner but anyone with little kids knows it's near impossible to wake up a child who is over 2 years old and force them to eat dinner as they fall asleep at the table. So, I changed them and put them to bed. I figured if they woke up, of course I'll offer them something to eat but more than likely, they are in for the night.


Now watch, the minute after I press "Publish Post" they will wake up in a pissy, hungry mood.


And if they do, I'll tell you about it.


Until then, I'm enjoying this "time off".

11/13/2006

I know, I know....

Me bad blogger person.

New post coming soon. And you too can learn how you can get into Sea World for the low, low price of $5.60.


And no, you don't have to wash dishes OR swim with Shamu.

11/01/2006

The Days Go Slow but the Years Go Fast



This is what happens when we blink!
Top photo is of all 3 kids from Halloween 2005 and bottom photo is this year.

Guess it's a good thing that we bought the costumes BIG the first time around - whohoo! And of course, that they couldn't care less about the costumes (well, Foster WANTED to wear his again) - it was all about the sweet stuff!

10/26/2006

Why we're so proud!


Foster brought this card home from school today from his teacher, it reads:


To Foster
HERE'S THE SCOOP!
Your behavior is front-page news because you stayed on task and completed all your work at the puppet center. You are very helpful. You cleaned and straightened the puppet center table without me asking. You are responsible, kind & helpful.




Wow! We are so very proud! Foster got TWO check marks on his home behavior chart for this.

10/17/2006

A funny from Ivy's mom (AKA: Bubbe)

You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed. On your right side is sharp drop off, and on your left side is an elephant traveling at the same speed as you. Directly in front of you is a galloping kangaroo and your horse is unable to overtake it! Behind you is a lion running at the same speed as you and the Kangaroo. What must you do to safely get out of this situation?

If you do not know, see answer below.





















Get your drunk ass off the merry-go-round!

10/13/2006

Welcome to the No-Sleep Motel…

…we're open 24/7. Ugggggg.


I finally got home last night at about 6:15pm after my dentist appointment that started at 3:00pm. Ouch! One filling and one cap later - and multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) shots of novacaine - I still couldn't feel the left side of my mouth. And remember, this is after working all day - MINUS the 2 hours I was at home waiting for the plumber (toilet STILL leaking).


Dinner was followed by the usual post-dinner routine. Getting the kids calmed down enough for bed. Finally, all were in bed (and asleep - bonus!) by 8:00-ish. I was feeling really antsy because I hadn't had a minute since getting home to do anything other than childcare, I really wanted to check my e-mail and snail-mail and I needed a shower. Well, I took my shower and then Laura and I settled down to watch "Lost". Yes, the day AFTER. Laura's class from church now meets Wednesday nights instead of Mondays. While this is a better day in the grand scheme of things - like work and children, it's not good for watching "Lost" live. Oh well. Trusty TiVo made it okay. We finished watching around 9:30 and then it was time for me to finally get some "me" time to read e-mail, do some bills, open snail-mail, etc. I finally fell into bed around 11pm and at 11:08 Seth woke up crying. And again at 11:25pm and again at 11:55pm. Then I finally brought him into our bed - our nice comfy, cozy king-sized waterbed with new electric blanket (ahhhhhh) bed. He tossed and turned and cranked and sat up and turned over and over and over until he finally fell asleep sometime after 1am. I was kind of awake this whole time as it's hard to fall asleep with a small child wedged under my ribs. Then I woke up at 2-ish when Logan woke up. Laura went in to comfort him and eventually returned to bed. I was still kinda awake listening to Logan. Then I fell asleep again and woke up around 3:45am with a throbbing mouth and teeth. Couple advils later I feel asleep only to be awakened when the alarm went off an hour and a half later!


And today I started my new (earlier) workday hours of 7:00 - 4:30pm.


I need coffee - bad!!!!


I used to work Mon. - Fri. 7:30 - 4:00. Now I'm going to be working Mondays from 7:30 - 11:30am and Tues. - Fri. from 7:00 - 4:30pm. This way I will have every Monday afternoon off. I plan to use it to do stuff for "me" and also to run all those errands SANS children that we always seem to have to do on the weekend. And since Laura has every other Monday off - that means at least twice a month we'll both have off at the same time and we can finally go to Costco and the grocery store solo.


So, what am I doing on my first Monday afternoon off you ask? Yup, waiting for the plumber - AGAIN.


But tonite, I hope to check into the Sleep-All-Night-Without-Waking-Up-Motel.


I hope...

10/11/2006

Money tree wishes and a trio of friends

So, they say money doesn't grow on trees but I'm still wishing our peach tree out back will start sprouting $20 bills. Please?


Let's see - lately, money issues are well, a big issue. First off, I recently broke down, okay, waaaaay down and ordered some study materials so I can take (and pass) that damn LCSW exam. I've been putting it off way too long and now that I'm looking at a new position at work that would include a small raise (and much more job-satisfaction) and upward mobility (maybe supervision eventually) I want to pass the exam and get my license. So - that was an easy $245.00. For study materials.


Then - in the SAME day (what were we thinking) we went to a local Oktoberfest and that place - you know - Costco. I think we spent about $160 or so at Oktoberfest (on fried dough and crafts) and way more than that at Costco and we only got the essentials and no "fun" stuff. THEN, on Sunday we were going stir-crazy in the house and decided at the last minute to head out to Target. Well, need I go any further? We very rarely walk out of that store without spending about $200 and we certainly did. And again, on essentials, not any "fun" stuff. Okay, if you count the mint water I got, that was fun. THEN, our toilet in our bathroom started not to work well AND our water heater is leaking. Since Laura was lucky enough to have Monday and Tuesday off, she got to call the plumber to come fix everything. It was $45 per service call (Buyers Home Waranty) times TWO. He fixed the toilet with a thing-ie and then declared we needed a new water heater but our insurance/waranty thing wasn't going to cover the extra $450 in "upgrades" needed for safety and legal issues. Okaaaaaay. Need hot water = therefore need to get the water heater.


THEN - our almost 15 year old pup wasn't feeling too well so a trip to the vet with some x-rays and such - almost another $700!


That leads us to this morning. After I used our new and improved toilet I noticed a nice large puddle collecting on the bathroom floor by the toilet. Uggggggg. Get that plumber back!


I refuse to add up how much money we've spent in the last few days and the week isn't over yet. Saturday, all 3 kids are scheduled to get haircuts - I spend more on their hair than I do on mine. Of course, they're cuter so I guess it's okay.


Oh yeah - the trio of friends - Curious George, Kermit the Frog and a big purple dragon are the inhabitants of the floor in between Logan and Seth's toddler beds. Lately, Seth has taken to not wanting to go to sleep at night and wanting one of us to lay down (on the floor) next to him until he falls asleep. I didn't want to get into this habit but my new motherhood mantra of "whatever works" is still in effect. I couldn't take the screaming and have taken to laying down and using Kermit and said dragon as pillows. Curious George? He just sits there and watches...

9/28/2006

It takes a village to raise a child

Or does it? I have to keep reminding myself of the affirmative.


We live on a quiet cul-de-sac bordering a very large green area (think “Tellytubby” hill) and it’s a wonderful place for my kids to run themselves tired. We often go out there on the weekends before dinner – we bring out the bikes, the scooters and skateboards, not to mention bats and balls, sidewalk chalk, water guns, and various other assorted playthings.


Here’s the village part – I’d say about 75% if the time, another child, I’ll call him “A” walks over to where we are (which is right outside our house). Now, my kids are 5 and 2 years old. “A” is 9 (I think) but he’s also mentally retarded. He’s a big kid too. He lives on the other side of the hill and I have no idea how he senses when we’re outside. More often than not he’ll ride his battery-operated jeep over (you know, one of those cars you can sit in that goes about 5 M.P.H.) and start playing with my kids. His mom is a single-mom and usually nowhere to be seen. That is concern #1 – that this boy, who has limited cognitive abilities is roaming around by himself. Granted I believe we live in a safe neighborhood, but still. Now, he knows my kids and they know him. He even goes after school to the same daycare the twins are in. I don’t mind so much that he always seems to arrive just as we are getting settled outside in our play, but that I feel like I have to be his, what…his “watch-parent”? When he’s playing with my kids, I feel like I have to watch out for him, make sure he doesn’t get hurt or inadvertently hurt one of my kids (he’s more than twice the weight of Foster). Then of course as I’m paying attention to “A” that leads me to pay less attention to my own kids. But, then again, he’s a distraction to them and they seem to be genuinely happy to see him. Still, his mom is nowhere to be seen. I have no idea if she knows where he is. I think he probably tells her he’s going to play near Foster’s house and she knows where that is and feels okay with it, knowing we all kinda watch out for “A”. I feel for his mom. He can be a handful; he can be stubborn and difficult to manage. Maybe his mom welcomes the respite when he “goes out to play”? I know I’d welcome it if I were a single parent too.


And up to this point, I don't really think Foster knows there is anything "wrong" or different about "A". Just that he acts like him - like a 5 year old. I bet there will be a time that Foster (and the twins) may question what is wrong with "A" and that will be one of his "learning about diversity" kind of lessons. But until that time, he doesn't question and we don't bring it up, it doesn't seem necessary currently. But also, eventually, there will probably be a time when Foster outgrows playing with "A". Guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.


I guess that’s where the village comes in. I guess it does take a village to raise a child after all huh?


Stay tuned for the next installment where you'll find out what I'm doing on the floor with Kermit the Frog, Curious George and a big purple dragon.

9/16/2006

Okay, Okay - picture time


Foster's first day of Kindergarten. My, my, my - doesn't he look like a happy camper?!?

More later...

9/08/2006

Yup, me a bad, bad blogger

It's been a while but it's late now.

Gotta fill you in on Foster's first week in Kindergarten.

He got a green "Dino-Mite" card every day (that's a good thing) so he got to pick out a treat today in school. ;-)

He also got about 7 pages of homework due next Friday. We already did two pages. Whew...this Kindergarten thing is hard work!

More later (including pictures)!

9/03/2006

California Adventure

Since so many of you have asked - here it is! See picture link below the blog-entry.

Disney’s California Adventure!


Before I forget I wanted to tell you all about our recent trip!


We went on August 30th and had a great time. The crowds were manageable. The heat was another story - it was hot but not unbearably.


We left home at 7:50am and arrived at the gates at 9:50am. The gates were already open (they are supposed to open at 10am) and we headed straight for Soarin’ Over California. Foster really enjoyed that one. Bubbe wasn’t too sure and had her eyes closed most of the time. Then we went to Grizzly River Run which Foster enjoyed until he got wet. I loved that one. The off to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail where all 3 kids enjoyed running around and exploring. We watched the "Brother Bear" show as well. Then off to lunch at the Pacific Wharf CafĂ© (YUM).
Then to the Paradise Pier where we hit the Carousel first. Then we explored the Sun Wheel. Then off to Jumpin’ Jellyfish and the wee ones played on the SS Rustworthy. Foster and Laura rode the Golden Zephyr twice (no lines). Then Foster went on Mulholland Madness rollercoaster 3 times! He loved it.


Then we headed up to the Hollywood Boulevard district where we got in line to see Disney’s Aladdin. All was going well until the line started to move and I had the diaper bag, my bag, the cameras, and I realized that nobody had Logan!!!!!!!! I raced back to the "waiting area" and I swear, it only took me maybe 25 seconds but that was long enough for my mind to go from A to Z. I pictured Logan wandering around California Adventure crying, screaming, totally upset - looking for us. I raced out the gate to the last place we were and lo and behold, he was totally fine enjoying himself climbing on the gate! Whew! I was pretty shaken up though. I grabbed him and hugged him and thanked G-d he was fine. Then we rejoined our place in line. It was one of those times where everyone thought that someone else had him! After that mini-disaster we went into the show. It was excellent! I highly recommend it. It was almost worth the price of admission to the park!!!!!



After that we headed to the Monsters Inc. ride. Foster really enjoyed that as well. Then - knowing the park was closing in 30 minutes (it closed at 6pm) we raced over to A Bug’s Land where the kids ran in and out of the water areas. Then we took all the kids on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train - Seth was particularly excited!


After that Foster and Laura and Amy rode Soarin’ again while I did a little shopping. Then the park closed and we went to the Downtown Disney area for a late dinner.
Made it home in record time and all the kids crashed fast asleep.


I, unfortunately, had to get up early to go to work the next day. Bad planning - I was pretty useless that day.


All in all, we had a great time. The lines were so much better than at Disneyland and the park was smaller so that made it easier to walk thru the whole thing. We did everything (almost) that I wanted to do but we plan to return again.


Enjoy our pictures at:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AZs2bNu0ZNGVl&notag=1

9/02/2006

10:54 a.m. September 2, 2001




I became a mommy for the very first time!

Happy Birthday Foster (AKA: Fos-man; F-man)!

And since I know you can't read this yet - YES, you ARE getting a skateboard for your birthday!

I love you baby boy!

Mommy

8/22/2006

My P.S.A.

People - when the light turns green and/or you are merging onto the freeway - please, please, please use the pedal on the RIGHT!

Especially when you are merging onto the freeway and I need to merge onto the exit ramp - you know, it's annoying to go from 70mph to about 15mph to wait for you to get that foot over to the right then I need to speed up again to get to the end of the exit ramp in less than 3 days!!!!!!! Sheesh.

Work with me people!! Drive like you are from New York (I can say that 'cause I am from New York) - be aggressive, okay, be assertive. But goodness, the pedal on the right is your friend!

8/18/2006

Twin Update!

Logan and Seth had their 2nd year well-child check-up. Overall they are doing great!!! First, the stats:

Logan who still retains the nickname of "Sir Super-Chunk" weighed in at 28 pounds. He was 35 inches tall. That puts him in the 60%-tile for weight and the 70%-tile for height.


Seth who absoultely still retains the nickname of "Sir Stick-Boy" weighed in at a slight 25 pounds and was half an inch taller than Logan at 35.5 inches tall. That puts him in the 25%-tile for weight and the 75%-tile for height.


The pediatrician was not concerned at all. They are both (knock on wood) so healthy and happy. Blame it on genetics the doctor said. Logan will grow up to be the football player and Seth the long-distance runner. It's just the way they are. But it's so hard not to compare the two because they are twins and each is the other's built-in control. It's hard to get away from that comparison. They are both doing wonderfully though. Their speech is fantastic. They each have 3 and 4 word sentences and some 5-word sentences. They absolutely seem to understand EVERYTHING!!!!! It's scary. We have to be careful what we say because they also love to repeat things (use your imagination).


So, separately:


Logan - loves: his taggie blankie/lovey; attacking Foster; reading books; bathtime; undressing himself; falling asleep on the floor or the chair vs. his bed; food, food, food; being outside; playing ball; and running in circles.


Seth - loves: following Foster around; cuddling; sitting on the potty; eating chocolate; playing outside; drawing with crayons; reading books; and watching "Calliou".

They both seem to have some "twin-speak" going on, especially at night. They will talk to each other and laugh and we have no idea what they are saying. Too cute. They both are getting used to their new toddler beds. They will let us know when they need a diaper change and are using the potty every once in a while. They love to chase each other around and run up and down the hallway. They also love to give hugs and kisses and we love to receive them!


So there you have it, the Twin Update!

8/08/2006

All the news that's fit to print

So you ask, dear readers, what’s going on in the Stein-White household?? I’ll fill you in now. I feel like posting a newsy-news post.

Let’s see: Starting with last month – we took Foster to the San Diego County Fair and he loved, loved, loved it. I think he especially loved it since his best friend Connor also went. On July 4th, Laura and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. I/we decided that when I turn 40 (in 3 years) we will also be celebrating our 10th anniversary and should thus celebrate in grand style. I really want to go on an Olivia cruise. So that’s our plan. Of course we have 3 years to plan (and save the $$$) so hopefully we can make that dream come true. OH – and it will be sans kids – so therefore we’ll have to figure out who the lucky people are that get to watch them for the week . Yes, by then, Foster will be 8 and the twins will be 5 so hopefully they will be a bit more independent by then – hopefully!


Laura and I spent a wonderful evening in early July at the Indigo Girls concert with our IG buddies Anita and Chris. Great concert!


Foster has done amazingly well with his swim lessons. Wow, I can’t believe how great he’s doing. He takes semi-private lessons with Connor in Connor’s pool. Foster can now swim across the pool, dive to the bottom to retrieve objects, he can semi-dive in from the side, he can almost float, etc. The teacher is a former Murray Callan swim teacher so she really knows her stuff. I am still amazed at Foster’s transformation from fear of the water to a little fishy who loves it. Oh, and he hasn’t used any types of swim floatation devices, the teacher doesn’t believe in them and it worked out great! Foster is doing very well in his preschool. He starts Kindergarten on Tuesday September 5th. We have Kindergarten orientation on Friday September 1st where we’ll get to meet his teacher and see his room. Can’t wait! He’s totally looking forward to it.


Logan and Seth celebrated their 2nd birthday with a few close family and friends at our house. They seemed to enjoy the low-key celebration. Those two are doing well at their daycare (our neighbor) and are now the owners of big-boy beds – bye-bye cribs – they went to some lucky people who answered my posting on Craig’s List (love that site!). They were sold within 24 hours of posting.


We went to Laura’s company picnic and the kids had a great time! We also all attended our local gay pride festival. That was just too fun. The kids all seemed to enjoy just people-watching (me too) and in general just being outside and out-n-about. We recently spent the day at the beach – it was just beautiful. That was with our local Family Matters group.


This weekend we’re taking the kids to the Circus. I finally get to use the free tickets I rec’d for all 3 kids. I sent for them right after they were born. Ringling Bros. gives out free tickets to all kids if you send for them within a year of their birth. Well, I did and now we finally get to go. Foster can’t wait!


We are also getting ready for Bubbe’s visit. She arrives on Saturday August 26th and we already have a full calendar. Let’s see, we’re going to the horse-races – wish us luck!!! Then on Wednesday August 30th we’re taking all the kids to Disney’s California Adventure!!!! I’ve never been there so I’m totally looking forward to this. We picked a random Wednesday so hopefully the crowds will be at a minimum. The twins will be going too, so I hope that everyone has a good time. Then, there’s Foster’s Kindergarten Orientation that Friday. We already have all his school supplies so we’re good to go!


Foster turns 5 on September 2nd and his party is on the 3rd at the local YMCA. It will be a pool party since swimming is his new favorite activity. Pictures will definitely be posted!


In early September Laura and I have a wedding to attend – an “Adults Only” wedding. Whew! We get to enjoy ourselves at a fancy party and eat wonderful things. What could be better!!! Since Bubbe (my mom) will be out here in CA, we are doing our annual garage sale on September 16th. We need all the help we can get – that’s why we are doing it while she will still be here. We have so much crap to get rid of. No joke! And I still have to clean out my closets and drawers! Fun times ahead…


Then we’re planning on going to the huge Family Matters Annual BBQ on Sunday September 17th. Then Bubbe is going back to NY that evening.


Nobody ever said our life is boring, that’s for sure!


Hope you had fun catching up on our daily lives!!!

8/04/2006

3 minus 2 equals...


...a great time for re-connecting with my oldest. Laura went to a movie at church this evening and I stayed home with the kidlets. I promised Foster we'd watch our own movie and make popcorn and hot chocolate. He was so excited he couldn't wait.

After bath, I put the twins down to bed - well, since they are now transitioning to their "big boy beds" it's more like put them in their room and pray they fall asleep eventually. Foster was being so good, really good.

He selected "Monsters Inc." for his movie. He helped with the popcorn (pushed the microwave buttons) and watched me make him hot chocolate.

We sat and cuddled on the couch and watched the movie (for the 100th time). He got his pillow from his room so he could lay on my lap. He isn't usually a cuddle-type kid unless he's sick so this was a real treat for me. I loved it!!! We ate the whole bag of popcorn. We watched the movie and laughed. I reminded him that we're soon going to California Adventure and they now have a "Monsters Inc." ride - he can't wait!!

It was a wonderful evening of no complaints, no whining, no crying, no back-talk, just fun with my boy. I felt he really needed some one-on-one time and he got it. He even told me how much he loved me and wanted lots of hugs and kisses, that just made it all worth it.

Love him!

8/01/2006

Mothers...........................


I came across this in some stuff I had in a folder at work. So much of it is true, at least for me. I have to try to really remember what this is saying, especially when the kids are on my very last nerve.
I always love them but sometimes it's hard to like their actions. But after reading this (and I'm sure we've all seen this in print numerous times) I remember just how much I absolutely love and adore my children - forever and ever.
Anyway - here goes - to ALL of us!!


Mothers
This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It’s okay honey, Mommy’s here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can’t be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up to work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their briefcases.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who don’t.

This is for all the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars.
And when their kids asked, "Did you see me Mom?", they could say, "Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world", and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn’t find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again, "Just one more time".

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home – or even away at college – or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get a call form the school nurse an hour later asking them to pick them up. Right away.

This is for all the mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of the recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TV’s in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?

The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation…and mature mothers learning to let go.

For working outside of the home mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and partnered mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us…

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray and never stop being a mom…

7/28/2006

Harmless but still icky...


Ick...it's a harmless spider but huge.


Laura transported it to a place other than our front door!!!


EDIT:

Here is the info. we found out:

The Black and Yellow Argiope is a common orb web spider. Orb web means it spins a web like a circle. Black and Yellow Garden Spiders are harmless to humans. Because they are large, many people fear them; however, not only are they harmless, but they do a lot of good. These spiders eat large amounts of insect pests, such as flies, mosquitoes, and aphids.


Ummm, yeah, it still gave me the shivers. It now resides somewhere out on Teletubbie Hill (that's a post for another time)!!!

7/27/2006

Because this is PRIDE Week!!!

10 Reasons Gay Marriage Will Ruin Our Society:

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.


2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.


3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.


4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.


5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriages were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.


6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.


7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.


8 ) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.


9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.


10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.


AMEN!
Happy Pride!!

7/23/2006

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww..............

Okay, it's hot here. Very hot. It's sticky. I don't like it.

Don't wanna see the electric bill this month - we've been running the window a/c every day until late at night.

So, last night I took a shower. A cold one. In fact, I didn't have ANY of the "hot" water turned on at all, just all "cold" - and it wasn't even all THAT cold.

But the "Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" part --- as I poured the shampoo in my hand I noticed it was very, very warm. Yuck, warm shampoo - warmer than body temperature. Doesn't make for a very refreshing shower.


Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.............

7/12/2006

What's on your "back-to-school" shopping list?

We did our first "Back-to-School" shopping trip this past weekend. Although, really, it should be called "First-time-to-School-Shopping".


On Foster's Kindergarten "needed supplies" list we have:

-box of colored pencils
-package of 4 Dry Erase markers
-two large glue sticks
-kleenex box
-package (8-10) Crayola Washable Markers
-erasers
-liquid hand sanitizer
-backpack


Foster got to pick out the kleenex box (he chose a red mickey mouse one) and the erasers (basic pink) and the backpack. OMG - the backpack. It is now considered part of his body. He selected a Spiderman one and now insists on taking it everywhere including to bed.


We drew a line at him taking it now to preschool. He is allowed to take his "older" backpack to preschool but not his "Kindergarten" one.


Kids are funny...

7/11/2006

3 Words that strike fear in my heart!

All Staff Meeting


Uggggg, someone carve out my gallbladder with a toothpick now. I despise all staff meetings. They are boring, boring, boring. Did I mention they are boring?? I try so hard to stay awake and attentive during them but it usually fails. You remember back in college – in those really boring classes, as you were trying very hard to stay awake and take notes? Then you look at your notes later that day and either they are complete doodles or totally not understandable – like you wrote “Horse went home world tomato mirror.” But at the time, it sounded right.


Anyway, that’s how my all staff meetings are. We have them about once every 6 weeks. And another one’s coming next week. Maybe some of the reason I find them so very boring is that maybe 1% of the meetings pertain to me and my position. All the rest is discussions on stuff that I have NO input on at all. Yet, I have to sit there and suffer.


Okay, I’m over my rant now. Maybe I’ll get me some strong Starbucks beforehand and be really awake and attentive during the meeting. Okay, who am I kidding. I’ll deal with it. Guess it could be worse…I could be the “minute taker”. Oh, wouldn’t that be fun? Doesn’t everyone want to get notes written by moi with “Horse went home world tomato mirror” written on them? Makes sense eh?

7/07/2006

The soul remembers what I can no longer hold

The twins are turning two on July 15th! This is bittersweet for many reasons.
The first thing that comes to mind is that they are getting older. This is both happy and sad. I miss the really baby-stage altho Laura will tell you otherwise – she almost didn’t survive the “4th Trimester” AKA the first 3 mos. following their birth. It was hard, hard, hard – on so many levels but the sleep-deprivation thing was the worst! I miss the nursing and cuddling. But now I really am enjoying this rapid learning stage. They are a joy and it’s hard to think about life without them. But I do…


…On August 27th, 2003 I went in for a routine ultrasound when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. This was my 2nd pregnancy after Foster. There was no heartbeat. The baby measured two weeks behind so he/she probably died a couple of weeks earlier and I didn’t know it as I was on progesterone support during the pregnancy. This would have kept any bleeding or signs of miscarriage away. I was in total shock. Total shock. I had no idea. I was heart-broken, as any mother would be to find out she is having a miscarriage, but you have to remember that pregnancies for us just don’t happen after a fun night in bed. We had to very carefully calculate fertile times, do inseminations in a dr’s office, etc. That’s how we have to make babies. Not that that diminishes the pain a heterosexual woman would feel but I felt that second blow of all that “hard work” gone. Because I had retained the fetus past probably two weeks (based on the size of the baby) I had a D&C two days later. Those few days in between were a blur of sadness. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.


Sometimes I feel that pregnancy was just not meant to be. See, I was unknowingly pregnant (hadn’t yet taken a pregnancy test) when we went camping July 4th weekend of that year. I had unfortunately been the target of gazillions of mosquito bites which a few days later became terribly infected. Since I knew there was a chance of pregnancy, the dr. did a pregnancy test and lo and behold I was!!! Yay!! But I needed a safe anti-biotic to take – I was Rx’d an anti-biotic that was supposedly “safe” to take during pregnancy. But again, - how safe? I was at the most vulnerable time in my pregnancy, those first few weeks and here comes some powerful anti-biotics invading fragile, growing, developing tissue and of course, baby. That hurdle was over and then at about 5 weeks into my pregnancy Foster suddenly couldn’t walk. He wouldn’t put his leg down on the ground. I had a very unusual Saturday meeting at work and Laura wound up taking him to Urgent Care. The dr. there was extremely concerned and immediately decided to hospitalize him as they were thinking it was possible he had a septic hip which would have been a surgical emergency. I was called out of my work meeting to meet them at the hospital. We were total nervous wrecks. At the hospital he had to have a radio-active scan. Due to that scan he was then considered radio-active for days following. I was instructed not to touch him, not to change his diaper, not to be within 4 feet of him. Oh my f*ucking G-d. My baby was in the hospital and I couldn’t even hold him or touch him. How horrible was that. I was newly pregnant and they were fearing the effects of him being radio-active and transferring that to me – that would be very bad to a newly pregnant woman to be exposed to radio-activity – I understand but oh how hard that was. Laura was voted the most eligible to stay at the hospital overnite with Foster but she had to go home for a change of clothes and for some of Foster’s clothes and special toys. I stayed in the hospital room. My baby was not even two yet and didn’t quite understand why mommy couldn’t hold him when he was hurting and so confused. His cries for me to hold him haunt me to this day. I could barely hold it together. For a few minutes I wished I was not pregnant so that I could comfort my baby. I felt useless. I was able to get on the floor and play with his cars with him and feed him some soup (from a distance) until Laura came back. As it turned out, Foster did NOT have a septic hip, he had toxic synovitis which sounds horrible but really is just an inflammation of the synovial fluid in his hip – a few I.V. doses of Motrin and he was 100% cured by the next morning. Whew. But that lingering question of what horrible thing did I just do to my body by being near my boy who was radio-active.


I also had weird pains a week later in my back. This worried my R.E. who recommended me to come in for another u/s to rule out a tubal pregnancy. It wasn’t. We saw the heartbeat right smack in the middle of my uterus where it was supposed to be.
But then that day came 5 weeks later. “I’m sorry, but I can’t locate a heartbeat” the nurse said. Those words echoed in my head – like a bad dream I so desperately wanted to wake up from. It was reconfirmed by a dr. and the re-reconfirmed before the scheduled D&C. I cried rivers for that baby I’ll never know – not in this lifetime. I wondered if it was a boy or a girl. I had a feeling it was a girl for some reason. But, we never found out, it was too early in the pregnancy. People said all the things they thought they should say – you know “You can try again”, or “Good thing it was so early on” or even “Guess that baby wasn’t meant to be”. But for me, it was my baby I lost. I didn’t want to try again. I don’t care that I was “only” 10 weeks pregnant. To me, my baby was meant to be. But for that little soul, he/she was ready to move on. I felt like I gave him/her whatever he/she needed for those short 10 weeks but that baby had other plans. So I said my good-bye’s and had the D&C.


That brings me to the twins. They are here because that little soul isn’t. I like to think that the baby I lost just wasn’t ready to be born yet and since I then got pregnant with twins, that one of them (I have a feeling who it is but I ain’t telling!) is that little soul joining us at the right time. I recently ordered a necklace to replace a charm I currently wear. The one I have now is a forget-me-not flower, really tiny, encased in clear crystal. I wear it around my neck along with Foster’s fingerprint immortalized in silver. But that little forget-me-not flower is kind of falling apart. The bottom of the charm broke off and you can barely see the flower anymore. I wanted something else to physically touch to remind me (not that I really need any reminders) of that wee one that I didn’t get the chance to meet. My new necklace which is on it’s way has a butterfly charm (to symbol transformation) and a blue and a pink crystal – since I didn’t know for sure if it was a boy or girl. It also has a birth charm of the month of that due date – March. I can’t wait to receive it.


Well, I didn’t mean for this to get so long but part of the purpose of this blog is to get out what I have in my brain. And the twins’ birthday in just another week has made me want to get my thoughts out.


I plan to post lots of pictures of the twins birthday party – it will be quite a small get-together with close family and friends.


And it will be bittersweet.

7/04/2006

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

7 years and still going strong!
Happy Anniversary Laura!!!

7/02/2006

Where did my babies go?


Logan (L) and Seth (R) got haircuts yesterday. Aren't they adorable???

We survived!

Here we are and it's Sunday - Laura the wonder mom survived our week w/o daycare for the twins. I did end up staying home on Thursday since Seth ran a pretty high fever on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. But he was fine by Thursday afternoon when Foster came home from his field trip (which we LOVED) with a fever!


I had to go to work on Friday as I had a presentation to give at another agency but by the afternoon Foster was feeling better and we all went to the pool. BTW, I was very impressed by the school bus Foster's preschool hired to take them all on the field trip to the science museum. It was very modern with high-back seats AND seatbelts. Whew!


Tomorrow is Foster's special day at the San Diego County Fair with his best bud Connor.


Can't wait!

6/28/2006

Day 3 and other news

First off - Logan's hearing is apparently normal!

Yay!!

He had his repeat hearing eval. this morning. Laura took him into the appt. while I entertained Seth in the hallways and the gift shop of the hospital. I even showed him the nursery (it was on the same floor as audiology) and told him he lived there for the first 48 hours of his life but he didn't seem very interested. He WAS interested in the $6.00 frogs with bulging eyes we got in the gift store though.

Anyway, Logan had lots of wax in one ear and after that was cleared out they tested him and his hearing was normal. No follow up needed. This is very good news.


After the hearing test we went to Big Lots in search of a new vegetable bin and a shoe rack. Well, $95 later we got the bin but no shoe rack. We did get lots of other goodies though. Love Big Lots (http://www.biglots.com/).


Then I finally went to the clubhouse here (http://www.mvhoa.org/) by our house to get a new pool key with my correct name and address. I've only been meaning to that for NINE years! Problem being is that the clubhouse is only open Mon - Fri from 8am to 3pm. Well, sorry, but I'm usually at work during those hours but since I had off today I finally got that "activity" crossed off my "To Do" list.


Then we came home for lunch and put the twins down for a nap. That was almost an hour ago and I expect to have another hour to an hour and a half of peace. Laura went to the grocery store. After they wake up, if they are in good moods we'll head to the pool for a dip - it's HOT here.


Day 3
Here we are on day 3 of no daycare. Only 2 more days to go. Laura has been doing an awesome job - and we saved $200 by not having to pay for daycare this week. But we both decided that we just weren't meant to be SAHM's. Oh well. We're having fun today. We're two against two so the odds are good.


Foster Update
Foster is doing amazingly well in his new preschool. They are really getting the kids ready for Kindergarten. There are about 10 kids in his "class" in this "Kindergarten Readiness" program and he's loving it. In the morning they have "Classwork" - mainly worksheets and writing and reading. In the afternoon they mainly have crafts and outdoor time. He's having a great time there and has made lots of friends. Tomorrow he goes on his very first field trip. They are going on a school bus to the space museum in Balboa Park (http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-park/detail.php?OrgID=13) for the day! My baby is going on a field trip!!! I'm sure he'll have a blast and have lots to tell us when he gets home!

Swimming is going so well - he's doing so much better than I ever thought he would. He's swimming to the bottom of the pool to pick up objects, floating, jumping in, etc. These lessons with his best bud Connor are excellent.


I'm taking off Monday the 3rd so we can take Foster to the San Diego County Fair (http://www.sdfair.com/fair/index.php?fuseaction=fair.home). The twins will be back in daycare - because honestly - they don't enjoy riding in their stroller for that long and I know I don't want to be rushing thru the fair. So we decided to just make a special day with Foster. Well, we are also going with his best friend Connor and his mommy and grandma so it will really be fun! I'm so excited!!! I love the fair. I love the food and the crafts and the animals, and all the goodies to buy. I love it all. The best part though it watching Foster love it all too. He can't wait to go on all the rides with Connor.


Well, that's it for now. Guess I should put away all our Big Lots purchases before the twins awaken!

6/26/2006

We did it!

We survived the first day without daycare!


Actually, Laura survived - I went to work.


Only 4 more days to go...


...I'll keep you all up to date!

6/25/2006

It's coming!!!

The week we've been waiting for - the week our daycare provider for the twins is on vacation. Such is the risk we take when opting for home daycare vs. Foster's center-based preschool. Oh well, I know she deserves it - it's just hard.


We had a great weekend though. I had a wonderful spa pedicure on Friday after work - this is after I got a DTaP shot/immunization during the day. By the end of the day I felt kinda ill but I wasn't sure if it was more "mind over matter" esp. after reading all the side-effects you can have from the shot. Anyway - the pedicure was wonderful.


Then, came Seth's night from Hell. All went as expected on Friday night. Dinner and baths and bed. Laura and I watched another L word episode and it was about 10:30pm when we were getting ready for bed. That's when Seth decided to wake up. To make a long story short, I wound up sleeping with him on the couch until he finally fell asleep at 3:15am. Do you know that you can order your swimming pool and spa by calling an "800" # from tv? Yeah, not very interesting programming on at that time. Seth thought it was fascinating and I didn't want to start watching something that would keep him up - little did I know! I finally transferred him to his crib at 3:30am. And went to bed. Then woke up at 8am. Not enough sleep!


But........after checking out our neighborhood garage sale on Saturday, we came home for lunch and the twins went down for a nap and actually slept for close to THREE hours! Unheard of. And Foster and I took a 2 hour nap. Then Foster and I went swimming and Laura stayed home with the twins.


And best of all - a spur of the moment chance to have a night out - dinner and a movie. The twins Godmother came over and watched the clan (fed them dinner, bathed and put them to bed) and Laura and I had a wonderful dinner out and finally got to see The DaVinci Code.


Today was quiet and low-keyed. Church in the morning, home for lunch and then nap for everyone (including me) and then Laura took Foster to the pool while I stayed home with the twins and did even more laundry.


And so, tomorrow it begins. Our week without daycare (for the twins) - Foster's still going to preschool as usual.


I'll keep you informed.

6/22/2006

Can't wait for tomorrow (at 4:30pm)

Not only is tomorrow Friday but I've decided that I'm taking some "me" time and going for a pedicure after work. Not just any old pedicure but the "Deluxe Spa Pedicure". Now, I only have these when my mom is out here visiting (our guilty pleasure) but I figured why not, next week is gonna be a long and busy since our twins' daycare provider is going on vacation for the week. Laura is going to be playing the part of the "SAHM" and I'm going to work - except for Wednesday when I'm taking off too.


So, I thought, I better get some "me" time in now - as I know Laura will be chomping at the bit to get some "me" time after being home all day with the twins.


So - tomorrow, at 4:30pm I'll be totally relaxing for close to an hour while my hard-working feet get a make-over. And yes, this includes the "massaging chair", the "sea salt glow treatment", the "tension relief massage", the "marine mask treatment", and the "paraffin wax treatment". But shhhhhh, don't tell anyone less I lose my "gay card".


I'll take that risk.


Blissful risk...

Hi, my name is Ivy...

...and I'm an "L word" addict.


If only we had Showtime.


But we don't. So, we bought the first two seasons on DVD at Target a few weeks ago - we're almost done. We've watched two years worth of episodes in less than a month. Oy. What are we going to do when we're done with season 2? We have to wait apparently until this Fall when season 3 is out on DVD and believe me, we'll be first in line to buy it. That is, if we don't order Showtime first....


Oh - and I also ordered (and rec'd) the "L word" companion book - the one that I almost (but didn't) put a rush order on from Amazon.com - now I have something to get me thru the next few months until season 3 is ready...

6/20/2006

Trying to escape and other news...



That's Logan (in the bottom photo) - we keep telling him to keep all arms and legs inside the ride at all times, but does he listen? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Seth on the other hand usually sleeps right smack in the middle of the crib amongst his stuffed friends.


But, I think we're going to be ready soon for their big-boy beds. We have two toddler beds waiting for them - they are currently taking up the top bunk in Foster's room. Next week is also potty-training boot camp since our dear daycare provider is taking a well-earned week of vacation. Laura is taking the week off to stay home with the twins and as a result has decided to push the potty-training issue.


I am taking next Wednesday off since Logan has his repeat hearing eval. and Seth can't be in the room during the testing. Logan's appt. is at 9am. Hopefully we'll get some better results this time, or at least some conclusive results. I'll keep you informed.

6/13/2006

I'd rather use the mens room...

...no, not like THAT. See, at work, we have two "internal" bathrooms - ones not available for public use like the hallway ones. They are labeled "women" and "men" but really, they are unisex. I usually try the "women's" bathroom first as it's the first door you come to down the hall. If it's locked I try the "men's" room. But OMG, the "womens" room usually smells like toothpaste! It's gross. I mean I'm sure the smell of minty-fresh toothpaste is better than some other bathroom smells but for some reason I can't stand that smell in the bathroom at work. It's worst after lunch-time when it seems like the Dental Convention is coming and everyone goes in there to brush teeth! Ick. I can't stand seeing dried drops of green and blue toothpaste in the sink, not to mention long strands of hair in the sink as well. It just turns my stomach. The door is always closed, it can't be propped open for the room to air out so it's just icky.


Now, the men's room is a different story. What, do men NOT ever brush their teeth? Apparently not - okay, I don't brush my teeth at work either. But I gotta tell you, it's very rare that that bathroom has ANY smells in it at all. Maybe that's because in my office of about 65 workers, I think there are only 3 or 4 men. And most of the women tend to use the women's room the men's room is usually underused. Anyway, what it comes down to is this - if I have my choice I use the men's room at work - because goodness, those guys are either really, really clean or they hold it all day until they get home and never use the work bathrooms.


There - end of rant!

Sleep-Over Success

Foster's first sleep-over was a success!!!!! He loved it! Foster and Connor stayed up way late watching movies and giggling. He stayed at Connor's house until the next day after lunch and after swim lesson (at Connor's house). Then we returned the favor by taking Connor home with us so that Connor's parents could have a break. Foster loved having Connor over - someone his own size to play with. How fun.


We are so lucky that Foster met Connor when he did - at about 12 weeks old when they were in the same infant room at daycare. Even though they now go to different schools, they have a great friendship. We will certainly miss them for the next two weeks while they are on vacation. But, we have plans for many other outings - the San Diego County Fair, swim lessons 3 times per week (in Connor's pool), lots more playdates, movies, etc. I haven't met a friend like this in such a long time. It feels good!

6/10/2006

First Sleep-over


My "baby" is having his first sleep-over at his friend's Connor's house. I think this is hardest on Laura and I. This is the first time he'll be spending the night somewhere other than with us (or one of us). But, upon receiving an e-mail from Connor's mom letting me know that the boys are having a blast watching movies and giggling, I know he'll be just fine. It's us that has to make it thru the night.


But, he's making some life-time memories here. I just know it!

6/08/2006

We've graduated to the table!





Logan (above) and Seth (below) are now big boys that don't need their trays anymore. They sit at the table like the big boys they are! Fun times ahead, I think...



 Posted by Picasa

But I don't wanna...

...clean out my closets. I know I have to, the garage sale is on the 24th but I have a headache and I just don't want to!


Laura is at her last class (at her church) and all the kids are (thankfully) in bed (it's not even 8pm). I think I'm gonna get some juicy strawberries and some peaches from our backyard tree and watch one of the movies I bought at Hollywood Video.


The closet can wait...after all, there's only clothes in there now! (HAHAHAHAHAHA)

6/03/2006

$150 sandals!

We went to Target this evening - Seth needed sandals. Well, those little plastic sandals cost us almost $150.00 becaue we just "had to" buy the entire first two seasons of "The L Word". Yup, don't know where I've been living these past few years but since we don't get Showtime, we couldn't watch The L Word. Well, glory be, we bought the series.


Now, we just finished the first two episodes and we're hooked.


This is NOT to mention that I went to Hollywood Video today to rent a movie and came out $35 poorer. I bought 5 dvd's for $20 and got two rentals. They were all on clearance after all. And it is summer and "Lost" is on re-runs. Duh...gotta watch something!


Okay, so at Target we also got some "super soakers". Played outside earlier today with the two we had - too fun. Had to get another one so the moms can soak each other. Hmmmm, should keep the neighbors busy watching....:->
Evolution of Dance

This is a great 6 minute distraction. Enjoy!

Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
The Twist - Chubby Checker
Stayin' Alive - The Bee Gees
Y.M.C.A. - The Village People
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
Keep On - The Brady Bunch
Greased Lightnin' - John Travolta
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Oompa Loompa - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Mr. Roboto - Styx
Break Dance (Electric Boogie) - The Sugarhill Gang
Walk Like An Egyptian - The Bangles
The Chicken Dance - Bob Karnes
Mony Mony - Billy Idol
Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Love Shack - The B-52's
Apache - The Sugarhill Gang
Jump Around - House of Pain
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot
Tubthumping - Chumbawaba
What Is Love - Haddaway
Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
Macarena - Los Del Rio
Bye Bye Bye - N'Sync
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Hey Ya! - Outkast
Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay-Z
Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice ("Yo, let's get outta here. Word to your mother")
Bye Bye Bye - N'Sync ("Bye, bye, bye")

5/31/2006

Foster's Graduation Videos - Take a peek!


Video Hosting - Upload Video - Video Sharing





Video Hosting - Upload Video - Video Sharing

Foster's Graduation Day





Foster "graduated" pre-school today! How exciting. The bottom two pictures are his two teachers - Ms. Mira (in the pink shirt) and Ms. Arlene -- he adores them both!!! Posted by Picasa

5/30/2006

Has anyone seen my beauty sleep?

'Cause I ain't gettin' any!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AARGHHH...

More often than not when we put the twins to bed (around 7-ish) Logan waits about 10 minutes and then throws everything out of his crib and stands up and cries for his beloved "Taggie" blankie. So we go in, give him his Taggie and tell him to go to sleep. This lasts about 10 minutes and the process (or GAME) repeats. Meanwhile Seth usually sleeps thru.

Then last night, Seth decided to play along and once Logan was asleep he woke up and cried. This was about 10:30 pm and right in the middle of watching "Munich". We tried to get him to go back to bed, but nope - he wasn't having any of that. He's quite the cuddle-boy so I held him out on the couch while we finished watching "Munich" together. Not quite "G" rated but whatever. Then at 11:30 I tried putting him back to bed but again - he was adament about getting more "mommy-holding-time". I held him some more - read e-mails, surfed a bit. My butt was getting numb and I couldn't stay awake any longer. But again, no bed he said. I finally relented and brought him into our bed only for Logan to wake up and start crying. After all, he wanted some "momy-holding-time" too. So Laura rocked him and I took Seth to bed.


At 1:30am I couldn't take it any longer - he was so restless - I put him in his bed and then wouldn't you know it? That damn alarm went off as planned at 5:15am.


Yawn!

5/26/2006

Picture Preview




Just a quick preview! Foster's adorable (if I do say so myself) school pictures! Graduation (from pre-school) is this Wednesday night. Can't wait. My baby is all grown up! Well, kinda.

Spring Cleaning and Summer plans.

Here at the Stein-White household our calendar is quickly filling up. As most of our good friends and family knows - if you don't "book" us early there's a good chance we will already have plans.


Let's see:
I've already cleaned out Foster's closets and drawers - my, my, my, the boy is getting tall. So much of his stuff went into the attic for the twins.

I've cleared out the twins' closet and drawers and got their stuff ready for our next garage sale.

I've gone thru every room and fearlessly cleaned out all the toys and crap that they don't play with anymore. Four huge black garbage bags full with stuff that they have yet to notice is gone. That feels really good. It's a pleasure now to clean up at night and they actually play with the stuff they have - I think they aren't overwhelmed now with toys.

I went thru my drawers and need to go thru my closets.

We had a "Deep Cleaning" of the house by our maids that come every other week. We had the carpets and furniture cleaned. Ohhhh, our carpets are so soft, and clean now!

The window blinds will be taken out and cleaned and waxed in a few weeks.



Now for our calendar plans:
This holiday weekend:
Foster starts semi-private swimming lessons tomorrow at his best friend's (Connor) house. They have a great pool and have found someone to come to the house for lessons for the two of them. This also means the mommies and maybe the twins can get some swim-time in as well.

Tomorrow is also Laura's mom's birthday so right after swim-lesson we're heading to her house for lunch and a visit.

Sunday - we have a Family Matters playgroup in the afternoon - should be really fun. Let the kids get some of that pent-up energy out. Then we're having company for dinner and games.

Monday (holiday) - I'm taking Foster and said best friend Connor to the movies. We plan to see "Over the Hedge". This will be Foster's first really real movie theater movie. He's beyond excited and has already put in his order of popcorn and candy. Perhaps I should just leave my wallet open and available at the ticket counter. Connor's parents have had Foster over to their house to play and swim so many times, we really want to return the favor. Then we'll probably have Connor over to our house for dinner or lunch if we go to an early show.


Other summer plans:
Swimming!
Swimming!

All the kids have new swimsuits so we want to put them to good use at our pool.

The San Diego County Fair is coming and we plan to go.

More playgroups.

Beach.

Swimming.

The twins are being toilet-trained believe it or not. They are 2-months shy of 2 years old but they are so ready. And best of all, our super-wonderful daycare provider is doing the bulk of the training!

Foster is starting a new pre-school at the elementary school he'll be attending in the Fall. This new session starts June 5th and is kind of like a 3 month introduction to Kindergarten since it's on the grounds of the school he'll be attending.

The twins turn 2 on July 15th, we are planning a low-key small party with friends.

Foster turns 5 on Sept. 2nd and starts Kindergarten on Sept. 5th.


I think that's it for now. I know I'm missing something but you get the idea. We are busy!

Job woes...

Well, if you've read my previous post from a few weeks ago you know that I've been thinking of a change. I'm a social worker for the county I live in. I've been at the same job now for over 5 years - I'm fully vested, I get that extra vacation week per year, I have seniority, I'm a Union Steward --- all that and yet I'm bored at work. Yup, bored I tell ya. I've outgrown my position and unfortunately there is nowhere "up" to go in my agency. I need a change. I'm not feeling fulfilled. I feel like my clinical social work skills are suffering.


Soooo, I placed a phone call (waiting for a call back) with our H.R. Dept. They have career counselors available to help. I need help! I have so many skills that aren't being utilized. I've been afraid to mention anything before at work for fear that they'd overload me with projects but what it's come down to is that I'm so very tired for 40 hours per week trying to think up things to do to make myself look busy. I'd rather be busy with "real" work.


So, along with my "L.I.P" (Life Improvement Program) I decided to make a change for the better. I'm still staying with the county of course, I certainly don't want to leave the bene's I have, I just need a change.


Change is good, eh?


I'm also half-way through a very complete and detailed "Health Appraisal" offered by my health insurance. I already completed the first half which was blood tests and other "measurements". The next half is scheduled in a few weeks and will involve going over the results of the blood work and measurements and a complete physical exam. So, I'm trying to take care of the physical part of me too. I'll let you know what happens on the job-front.

5/23/2006

Seminar Time

Laura is currently sitting in a seminar (free by the way) listening (I hope) and taking notes (again, I hope) on Dr. Harvey Karp --- the guru guy of happy babies.

http://www.thehappiestbaby.com/story.htm

He wrote the wildly popular books "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and "The Happiest Toddler on the Block". Well, I wanna live on THAT block.


So, we jumped at the chance to have one of us attend the seminar and hopefully gain some knowledge that will help us have those incredibly happy kids.


Can't wait!
I'll let you know...


I'm in love!! My new "toy". I know what I'll be playing with during today's "all-staff meeting".

;-)

5/19/2006

Ears are fine...

...so now what? Logan had a dr. appt. this evening and apparently there is no ear infection. He will have the repeat hearing eval. in 6 weeks and we'll go from there. Hmmmmmm, don't know. It's good we don't have to do the anti-biotics but I wonder why he failed yet another hearing eval. He can hear, no doubt about that as he'll repeat what you say and he totally talks to us - he's using 3 and 4-word sentences. It's just his speech isn't as clear as Seth's.


All we can do now is wait - wait for the next hearing eval. Then, I guess we'll figure out what to do after that.

5/17/2006

Can you hear me now?

Apparently not very well. A little history: Logan failed his first two newborn hearing evaluations, the ones they give newborns in the hospital before leaving to go home. At the time, the dr. didn't think much of it, perhaps there was some fluid in his ears or for some reason he didn't respond as well as they had wanted him to - but Seth passed his hearing eval. Then a week or so later we took him to the hospital for another two hearing tests which he also failed. We really thought he could hear though - he responded to loud noises. But they scheduled him for a B.A.E.R. test which is actually a hearing test that tests reaction in the baby's brainstem. He passed that. So we didn't worry much. But being moms of twins we have a built-in control = Seth's language. Seth's speech is (I think) quite a bit clearer than Logan's although Logan is speaking in more 3-word sentences - oh, they are 22 mos. old now. So, I wanted Logan to have another hearing eval. which he had today.

Apparently, one ear is okay (sorry, can't remember which, I think the left is fine) but the other one they think has fluid build-up and possibly an ear infection. However he is not pulling at the ear and there is no fever. They did a test where they put a probe in the ear and the eardrum didn't move as it was supposed to. Hmmmmmmm. Actually, Laura brought him to the appt. so all this is from memory of what she told me. So, now he has to see his ped. for an ear-check and get some anti-b's if there is an infection. Then he's to have another hearing eval. in 6 weeks to see if there is any hearing loss. Yikers. I sure hope it's just the ear infection but something in me is thinking there is more to just an infection. Neither twin has a history of multiple ear infections - or at least not many that we are aware of. For instance, we wouldn't have known or even remotely suspected an ear infection in Logan currently if it weren't for the hearing test today. I guess worst-case scenario (and anyone who knows me knows that's where I go all the time) is hearing aide(s). Best-case = infection is cleared up and all is good in his little world.


We shall see.

5/14/2006

Happy Mother's Day!!!


Logan and Seth enjoying Mother's Day at the Bay!
Mommy Laura digging for clams, she didn't find any...


Mommy Ivy and Foster having fun!

Happy Mother's Day!!


Kids crashed out in the van after a day at the bay. Then after showers, all clean and feeling "brotherly".

5/12/2006

Because sometimes I ask myself...

"TWINS"
There's two to wash,
there's two to dry,
there's two who argue,
there's two who cry.

One's in the mud having a ball,
the other holds a crayon,
another marked the wall.

Some days seem endless,
my patience grows thin.
Why was I chosen to be a mother of twins?

The answer comes clear at the end of the day,
as I tuck them in bed and to myself I say,
There's two to kiss,

there's two to hug,
and best of all, there's two to love.
-Anonymous

Highly Caffeinated Mother's Day!!!



Does my mom know us (Laura and I) or what? She sent each of us a $25.00 gift card to Starbucks for Mother's Day. Be still my beating heart. Can't wait to use that card - go forth and spend - and drink!!!

5/08/2006

It's a child's viewpoint

I was at an elementary school today - for work. As I was walking down the hall I noticed these painted pictures done by the 1st grade students. They were all about "Things in Nature". So there were your typical paintings (okay, approximated paintings - these are after all just 5 and 6 year olds) of the sky, birds, butterflies, dogs, even a rainbow or two. And each had the name of the object they painted written next to it - looks like by the teacher. Most paintings had 5 or 6 items painted on it. But this one that caught my eye had only two things painted on it. A big brown column-type object and a yellow circle. Next to it were the words - Apple Tree and Chicken.


I like this kid!

5/07/2006

Getting the Hang of It...

Finally! I've added most of my "Blog Roll" and some sites I usually check out to the sidebar. I admit to being new to blogging but not so new to 'puter stuff. I just need to time to figure it out. Time that seems to be running on the short side lately. Oh well, I'll get there.


So - if you are so inclined, feel free to check out any links I've posted.


Thanks for your visit!!!

5/05/2006

The Light Bulb Theory

We must laugh at ourselves right?

By the way, I am an MSW (Master of Social Work - I rec'd my Masters degree way back in 1995 and have been burning the candle at both ends ever since). Enjoy!!!

How many social workers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one...but it depends on whether or not the LIGHT BULB wants to be changed.

How many...you get the idea. One: Can't really tell you why, it just feels right.

None, we've all done a course on coping with darkness.

Just one, but you need letters of support from community social service agencies.

Five. One to screw it in, three to form the support group, and one to help with placement.

None. MSWs don't have time to change light bulbs.

How many picketers of therapists does it take to change a light bulb? As many as the ACLU will defend pro bono.

None, it's not in our budget.

The light bulb doesn't need changing, it's the system that needs to change.

As many as managed care will allow.

None, it is no longer a reimbursable activity.

You must first define the measurable outcome you are trying to achieve and get approval from the Community Mental Health Board.

The LIGHT BULB must first fill out all the appropriate forms to determine eligibility for service.

You can't change the light bulb until we write a grant for federal funds to hire light bulb change specialists.

In managed care all light bulbs are changed within 24 hours whether they want to change or not.

Actually in managed care I think nurses rather than social workers are changing the light bulbs, and the idea is to change more of them faster to get them the Hell out of the hospital, except that when the nurses do it, they call it facilitating.

It doesn't matter anyway, they'll burn out.

It only takes one. But he/she has to go for supervision to an electrical engineer (multidisciplinary approach) in order to learn the theory of electricity.

We don't change light bulbs - we empower them to change themselves.

I have a question of clarification: Is this a generalist LIGHT BULB or a specialist LIGHT BULB? After all, we must fit the LIGHT BULB to the most qualified changer..........

...All of them. One to hold the bulb in place, the rest to incite revolution.

...I'll do it, but I have 172 other light bulbs to change first.

...Whatever happened to self-determination?

I wonder if social workers could agree theoretically on if the LIGHT BULB should be changed at all.

Newt might suggest the LIGHT BULB burned itself out and therefore doesn't deserve any help.

Only one; but they have to start where the LIGHT BULB is at.

Only one, but a BSW can do it cheaper.

Three - One to do the work, one to share the experience, and one to supervise and make sure that professional work is done.

No, not until after I consult my staff and the DSM-IV.

The answer is zero. MSWs no longer feel that they should change light bulbs.

I don't know. I'm still a BSW student, but I'll research it and write an analysis, a minimum of 15 pages, 10 references, professional journals only, APA (Fourth Edition) format, and have it to you before class on Friday!

None. If it is the light at the end of the tunnel, it actually isn't the bulb that's burnt out, management simply turned it off without telling us.

One hundred. One to change the light bulb and ninety-nine to handle the paperwork.

None; after all, it must begin to work within 2 years and only can be on for five years.

None. The light bulb is not burnt out; it's just differently lit.

None, it's not in my job description.

It only takes one, but only if someone else buys the light bulb, because we can't afford one on a social worker's salary!

Well that depends...is this LIGHT BULB on welfare? Because if it is, we can change it for 5 years, and then it's got to learn how to screw in newlight bulbs for itself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5/02/2006

Look for the Union Label (sing-along)

I don't think I mentioned I'm a union steward at my job. Well, I am. And because of that, the "higher-ups" at my agency tend to leave me alone since they truly dislike dealing with the union and anyone associated with it (well, everyone is union except for the management), well, the stewards mostly. So that's a plus. I also get pulled into meetings with my fellow co-workers when they need union representation - that's actually fun. I like "sticking up for the little guy/gal". There are 2 stewards in my agency of about 65 workers. I'm one of them.


My union wanted to send me to Los Angeles (all expenses paid!!!) to take part in this:
http://www.seiu535.org/ourlocal/united2win.cfm


But we already had plans for that weekend and the next = we're taking a "Kindergarten Readiness" class with Foster to get him ready for the big day. And yes, my child is more important than the union.

4/30/2006

SUPERNANNY - where art thou?

Has anyone realized that the application for the Supernanny show is 12 pages long??


Now, this is NOT to infer that there are any problems here in this household with my angel children.


Nope, not at all...


Gotta get writing.

We walked for the babies...






...and we raised $635.00. Yesterday, Laura and I and Foster, Logan and Seth all took part in the annual March of Dimes WalkAmerica. We did a 4-mile walk in beautiful Balboa Park
(http://www.balboapark.org/) and had a great time! Well, the kids strolled (read: sat in comfort in their strollers) and we walked. Today my legs are a bit sore but the money we raised (by the way, which was the most in my office :-)) is all for a good cause. Thanks for supporting us!

4/27/2006

Wiggle-y


I'm taking Foster (my oldest son - he's 4.5 years old) to see The Wiggles (http://www.thewiggles.com.au/) in concert tomorrow evening.

I already have a headache...