Foster's Graduation Videos - Take a peek!

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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


Has anyone seen my beauty sleep?

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


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.



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:

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.



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.


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.


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".



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.


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.


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".


Because sometimes I ask myself...

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.

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!!!


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!


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!!!


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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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:

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.