That afternoon when they got up from their naps, we headed out to Whole Foods to get some vitamins. After the store we decided to make a night of it and walk across the street to The District to window shop and eat dinner at Lucilles BBQ. The weather was so nice we were able to sit out on the patio in front. Once we were seated to our table, the boys kept flirting with women and girls at nearby tables and people were coming up to us telling us how good the babies were behaving (they really were being so good!)
After dinner we let the boys run in the grassy area. The trees had been covered with strands of white lights that Wyatt just couldn't stop looking at. He would run around, then go right back over to look at the lights. Luke was just a free little man, I don't think I have ever seen him run with just fun in mind. Usually he is a man on a mission, but he was just enjoying watching the bigger kids and running around with them. Jaxon was just giggling and keeping us on our toes. He would go from one side to the other, growling like he was chasing or being chased laughing and then lose his footing and fall. He didn't mind though, he just would smile bigger and get up again.
There were easily 70 or so dogs around, too. I think one of the pet boutiques in the District had a pet photographer. All these little (and some HUGE)dogs had on Halloween costumes. Witches, pumpkins, ballerinas, wizards...amazing the dog costumes that are out there. The boys loved it, they kept hitting their thighs saying "doh, doh" and Jaxon was squealing and laughing when he'd get to see them up close. After we saw the dogs,we contemplated walking around a bit more, but decided it was better to go while the boys were still happy and not yet sleepy. As we loaded them into the carseats and stuck the wagon in the back we just talked about how it all was such a great day. A totally ideal Saturday.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
One of the main reasons Don and I want to move out of Las Vegas is to be in a more family friendly atmosphere. I am not just talking about a place where pictures of nearly naked people aren't on top of taxi cabs or where a picture of very barely dressed women aren't on a billboard. I mean a place where our kids can grow up with great memories of hanging out with family, especially their own cousins. Both Don and I remember our younger life (as in before 11 or 12 years old) surrounded by tons of family. In my case, Carl and I lived with our Grandma and Grandpa, along with 2 of our aunts until I was in 4th grade. I remember lots of visits to my cousins house or them coming over to my grandma's house. Christmas time was filled with so much family that the kids would draw names of who they would be a secret santa for that year, only to spill the secret on Christmas day. From what I understand Don's family all lived on the same street, or close to it. He has told me that they would play together all day and night, eating at each others house, just plain old getting into trouble. We both love those times in our lives- and want nothing more than to give that type of family life to our boys.
As I mentioned before, my nephew Matthew is in town with my brother, Carl. Matthew's birthday was a few days before they came out to visit so my mom planned a family birthday party for him out here. Besides the boys first birthday, I can not think of one other relative child's birthday party I have been to in over TEN YEARS! We had pizza, presents, ice cream cake and a surprisingly lively version of Happy Birthday was sung for Matthew.
I really enjoyed it all, especially when Matthew just whipping through his presents looking for "Little Guys" He was so excited to know he was getting some, but he was being teased, and the best was saved for last. Before he had gotten to the little guys though, he had opened a present from his dad that was a Army Costume. It had a camouflage vest, hat, little canteen, binoculars, plastic knife and other army guy necessities. Once he finally got to his "little guys" he was all suited up and ready to join them on the field.
It was so neat to have most of our immediate family here for a birthday party. It brought back many happy times for Don and I and we can't wait until we can share these days with our boys.
Yay Momma! It is so hard to get them all some what together and looking, let alone smiling at the same time. Forget the fact that when you click to enlarge you can tell Wyatt is a bit out of focus... I am patting myself on the back for this one! Look at those smiles!
Monday, October 23, 2006
We have finally been catching up with Cathy and her brood. We all went to Sunset park last week, Walmart this past weekend, and tonight we had dinner over at our house.
Since someone always seems to be sniffling or coughing, it has been a couple months since we have actually let all the kids play together at one of our homes. There were some major differences this play date. We have 5 walkers now, last time we were at Cathy's, only Luke was walking (Robert started walking only a couple days after we were there). So much more laughter this time! Cathy's boys are obviously beautiful little guys, but I haven't had the joy of making them laugh. But tonight while Wyatt was trying to pass a toy to Cathy's mouth from his own, I was playing with Robert and just had him giggling away. Noah was also a little outgoing man, he sat on my lap and bounced away like a little bull rider. My boys kept walking right up to Cathy, trying to get her attention...it was amazing to see how much more comfortable they were with the other kids, not so clingy or attached to their parents this time around.
Dinner with 7 kids was interesting. I have to tell you, it really seems like any more than the three is just more kids. They all were perfectly behaved, barely any cup throwing, lots of food was eaten. LOTS I am talking almost an entire large pizza (9 out of 10 slices), one can of green beans, 2 cans of pears, and one can of peaches between 7 children, 6 of who average 18 months old. I felt like we were feeding a football team. The boys just kept on packing the food in like little bottomless pits. It makes me wonder if those 3 boys had innies before we fed them....
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
A few years ago when I was pregnant with the boys we went to New York to scope out the area. My nephew Matthew was 2 years old and had a fixation with the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He would watch this movie over and over and over again. Or he would just watch the musical parts (under the special features menu) and actually try to act out the movie while it was playing. He would grab my brothers shoes from under the couch or use a wooden spoon for a cane and try to do the Wonka stumble when Wonka welcomes the people at the gate. I loved it! I was charmed by this little boy who thrilled me by showing me an idea of life with my own three sons would be like.
Matthew came out to visit us this past May. He still was enthralled by the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When you would ask him his name, he would respond with "Matthew Oompa Loompa" sometimes adding his last name.
After talking about it with Matthew, it occurred to us again to make the boys Oompa Loompas for Halloween. It is a costume that just wouldn't work with just 1 child, but 3 is perfect! There's a vision of a cute little white and brown costume in our heads and that is exactly what they will wear. After many hours of Googling and costume searching, we have come to the conclusion that the "old style" Oompas and Wonka are now extinct due to the recent remake of the movie. Not a problem, it is just a little detour. We will just make the costumes ourselves... my mom and I are handy. She quilts, we made the boys quilts and bumpers, we have sewn many things in the past, we can do this. Halloween is not until the end of the month.
Except we have a Halloween party tomorrow afternoon and it would be soooo nice to have the boys in their little Oompa costumes all cute and striped. We looked high and low for a brown turtleneck and ended up buying a cream ones and a bottle of Dark Brown Rit. Don and I dyed it a few nights ago in a big pot on the stove and have washed it about 10 times since to be sure we got all the dye out. After that was done, my dad went out of town so my mom decided to spend a few couple nights at our house. She and I have been able to squeeze in some sewing time during naps and then we hit it once the kids go down for the night. We have just flown by the seat of our pants, making it up as we go.
Last night at 2 in the morning I was sewing little cuff covers. A thought had occurred to me. Never mind carrying the three of them in my womb for 32 weeks, or changing thousands of diapers, or even all the sleep we missed for one reason or another. Last night while I was hand sewing these little cuffs to their little turtlenecks I felt like I had encountered another rite of passage One where I acknowledged it wasn't just about getting through the day to day things. For the past 3 days Wyatt has been sick, dumping out his little stomach wherever he may be when the urge hits him. They are all down to one nap a day, taking up so much of my energy to keep them busy and not fighting. My computer time has been cut in half in this transition and now I need to get up earlier to get ready before the kids get up, or I may not get dressed until after the kids go down for a nap at 1:30. Last night I made an Italian Market meatloaf (has turkey instead of beef)and after cooking for 50 minutes of the 70, Don had let me know it is still sitting on the stove. I never even put it in the oven even though I did manage to set 2 timers for it, so I would know when to put the sauce on top.
But in the midst of the craziness, or at 2 in the morning, I was just loving that I was actually making our kids halloween costumes. What an amazing rite of passage.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Since Jaxon has been waking up too early in the morning and he's usually the first to get up (and wake everyone else up) from his naps, this past Friday I began going to only one nap a day. It really stretches out the morning. It used to be I would feed the boys breakfast, play with them for a bit, maybe bring them outside and then it would be nap time. Now after I am done playing with them I realize we still have 2 hours until lunch time. gulp
So I am biting the bullet and am making an effort to get out of the house everyday. No reason not to. The weather is perfect, I don't have to worry about the car being too hot for them, and they are big enough now that if I would just put on their shoes we could make a trip to the park one of these days. Uh...now that I think about it, I am not taking all three alone to the park yet. They are still at the stage where they need spotters at the playground. Luckily, there is still plenty to do. We have done Costco on Friday, I think Walmart on Saturday and Sunday Don and I took them to the park and out for lunch after we went to church. And today I took them to the store to buy a shirt for my Golden Ticket costume (the kids will be Oompa Loompas), then to Michaels craft store, and last to PetSmart (to see the fish and birds). All these store were in a single shopping center, so I just pulled them around in the wagon. Last, we stopped to visit our friend Lisa at work and went home for lunch.
The drive home was nice, the kids were watching a dvd and I could see Wyatt engrossed in it. The other two were out of my line of vision. When I finally had a chance to see the other two I saw they were fast asleep. I panicked a bit while having visions of this 5 minute nap being the only naps of the day and tried to wake them. First I tickled their feet and called their names. Nothing. I rolled down the windows and Luke made a face like, "don't bother me I am sleeping" and turned his face the other direction. As a last resort, I turned up the radio and still got no open eyes! I noticed poor Wyatt was covering his little ears so I closed the windows and turned the radio back down. Two minutes later I pulled in our driveway and both Luke and Jaxon's eyes popped open and they were wide awake. Stinkers.
I took pity on the fact that they have been buckled in to either the car seat or wagon for the past couple hours and decided to let them run while I fixed their lunch. I opened up our kitchen door to outside and put the gate up at the stairs and they had free reign over the house and back yard. They loved it and had no idea where to go first...outside on the slides, to the books in the livingroom, throw the cups in the kitchen...what to do?
I can tell their little minds are soaking everything in now. Every little action they see, words they hear, books we read, and even from Big Bird and Elmo. Now that we are down to one nap a day I think they will be learning so much more since we will be out and about more. I just wish it didn't always have to be a store. At this rate, I'll be broke in about 2 months.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
This is pretty much how my day starts. Because without HIM, my dreams would not have been fulfilled. Everyday, I mean EVERYDAY, I fall more in love with my wife, the WOMAN of my dream. The mother of my boys, the woman who is above all, the best mother and the most perfect wife for ME.I love seeing the smile, the laughter, the twinkle that is in Laura. And what she puts into my heart is just unspeakable. Laura and I will grow old together, we will be with each other forever because I am for certain She is my soul mate. I know GOD gave me my dream woman. Now, as much of you know we had a struggle for a long time. We tried and tried, we cried and cried, many tears. This went on for years. GOD stepped in when HE thought it was right for us, and gave me my dream family. Now, me as a father, this is cool because I not only am student in this game called life but I am also a teacher. I am the one chosen to instruct good moral ethics, honesty, respect and what i know to our three little monkeys. It is so awesome yet scary at the same time that I now became a coach, mentor, guide, tutor and etc.. These are big 'shoes' that need to be filled, I get excited thinking of the days to come where the boys ask me "Dad, how did you know that ?", and I can tell them same thing I heard, "Dads know everything". I just can not believe at times, that I have all that I have. My wonderful, awesome baby boys, my loving, sweet, gorgeous wife, my dogs, my job, etc everything I look at, is truly a blessing from the LORD. Thank you.
P.S. I know this post may come off a little possessive, about me. I am just happy, overjoy, proud, excited, (you get the point) about my life. What I became 'overnight', a husband, a father, and a believer.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The good news is that I am realizing a trend. My mom is kind enough to come over and help me out twice a week, most weeks. I think that the two of us have different reactions to their behaviors. An example would be Nana does tasks with the kids while I multitask. I will get lunch ready, and while they eat I clean the kitchen and fold laundry. Nana on the other hand is there for the sole purpose of seeing her little grandbabies and makes sure their trays full of food. This means Nana has time to take their cup when they put it off to the side, or play games with them while they eat, or comfort them if they throw their food. All the above things that Nana responds to, I usually ignore. My usual results are the cups staying on the tray, food usually staying on the tray and quick meals. They realize if they drop the cups, mom is not going to repeatedly give them back, if they are bored and throw food, mom is removing the food from the tray.
Another example...If we are playing in the living room and someone steals a toy and they fight over it, I will get them another toy, play with them and the toy for a while, and move on to another child. Now Nana will consistently put her arms out to cuddle the child- who under normal circumstances would go play with another toy instead- and now that child gets the idea of distress equals attention. So the boys are going about showing the distress in tempers, instead of the being the easy going children they generally are and getting positive attention.
I am blessed to have my mom be such an important part of my kids lives, many people don't have that type of relationship with their parents, or the distance makes it impossible to see each other that often. But the kids are getting mixed signals of how to act in their daily situations. I feel I am trying to teach them a positive reaction to when they have confusion or anger. Nana is trying to comfort them at a grandparents level, which normally would be great. She is a great Nana and the kids get so excited to see her. But being she is a weekly fixture in their lives, I feel they must start getting consistency with reactions to their actions.
THIS is where having 3 babies at once gets difficult. Instead of having a child who gets doted on and bad behaviors ignored, I feel like I have to do what is the most efficient way for the future in terms of not having to teach them things 2 or 3 times because I didn't want to deal with a behavior or felt I have the luxury of waiting for that "stage" to pass. No way. One kid throws a cup or spits out milk, you can bet that the other 2 will be watching and trying it out for themselves. Same goes with hitting, biting and tempers. How do I know the correct reactions to the situations that arise? How do I know that I am not parenting them wrong by doing "efficient parenting". Should I let my kids be the kids who throw their cups and spit out drinks while throwing their meal on the floor? If I lovingly said, "look how far your cup went this time, dear" does it make me a better parent for having the patience to clean it all up later, again and again for the next year? Should I let them cry every time they want, throw a fit when they deem it to be so and just hold my arms out to comfort them? I feel it would just get out of control. After Nana is here for the day, this is what my nights are like. Crying baby after crying baby. I am not joking when I say they rotate who cries next. So instead of being able to play with them, I am trying to subdue the current temper tantrum. Sigh.
The responsibility of this guessing game is so hard at times. In my heart I feel one way. But when I write it out, it seems so cold and detached. But I know it is not at all cold. I have 3 little guys who are such good boys... lovey cuddley, they have the sweetest little giggles you have ever heard. These boys have the security of family who loves them beyond words. I think we will just have to follow our hearts and pray that we will do the right things for them.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Recently, Don got an email from a high school friend, named Jeff. Jeff is now married and they have 2 adorable kids. Yesterday morning he called and invited us out to the Harvest Festival in Pahrump. When talking about Pahrump, you almost always hear the phrase "over the hump to Pahrump". Las Vegas is in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains that you have to drive over to get out, hence -over the hump. Pahrump is about a 40 minute drive from our house and a few degrees cooler than here in Vegas.
The timing was perfect, we waited until our boys had their morning nap, fed them, and packed up and headed out. Luke is a bit under the weather, but we decided he was doing well enough to get out and get some fresh air. The boys handled the long drive like champs, Wyatt got irritated towards the end, but I think he just wanted his shoes off.
Once we got there, we checked out all the booths and animals. The festival had lots of goats and a gigantic pig. This pig was huge in a little fenced in area! It had to be at least 7 feet long and 2 feet high laying down. It's tail was probably no shorter than a foot and a half all curled up. The boys didn't really show much interest in the animals, I am not sure if they are just not to that stage yet or if it would've been more fun for them to touch them. Maybe we will pet them next time when no one is sick. After the animals we passed a little temporary tattoo booth. Don thought the boys should get their little biceps tattooed again with their initial. Jaxon and Wyatt were trying to check out the guy and see what he was doing, but poor Luke didn't really want much to do with it at all, I think he smelled the alcohol wipe and thought he was at the Dr's office. When that trauma was done, we all spread out on the grass and grabbed some food to eat.
We were a bit apprehensive letting the boys out of the stroller, but just sat them next to the cut up food on the blanket and all went well. Luke got a little clingy because he was still not to 100%. Jaxon and Wyatt surprised us by staying on the blanket for about a half hour before deciding to explore a bit further. After the exploring got out of hand, we packed up, walked around a bit more and then called it a night. It was a wonderful day to spend with friends!