Lucky Ducky Fiona

Fiona just called me. She sounded very cheerful, why you may ask? She just got out of a traffic ticket. She was leaving home and she had pulled up to a stop sign. She was pulled over for a 'California roll' (aka rolling stop). The cop asked for license and registration and while Fiona was looking for them. The cop noticed the three kiddies in the back and had inquired about the twins. He said that he'll let her off because she's got her hands full with time and money. Finally the kids are good for something! Well that and car pool. =) Fiona's used up the kids-get-out-of-free card and the next time she gets pulled over, it'll probably be a different story.

Unexpectedly Long Day.

Yesterday was a long day (for me that is) that I had not expected. I already knew that I had to head up to Monterey Park (that's where our mobile unit is currently located) with some engineers to run some tests on the CT scanner but that was at 10:00 am and I didn't plan for it to last terribly long. I was hoping to get home around 2:00pm but boy was I wrong. So I started my day off early as usual. I got into work at 6:00am. Then I left at 9:30 am to pick up the two gentlemen from their hotel (they flew in from Cleveland) and headed to Monterey Park. It took me about an hour or so to get there. We ended up doing testing until 7:00pm! Not only that but I didn't have lunch until 3:00pm (I usually eat lunch at 11:00am because I get an early start). So I was just salivating at the mouth. I got home shortly after 8:00pm. Fiona took the kids down to the Irvine Spectrum and was still out. So I washed up some dishes and bottles, folded up some laundry, and prepped up our night-time-kiddie-bath-routine. At 8:20pm (yes I did all of those chores in 20 minutes!) I get a call from Fiona. She apparently had lost her car keys. So I grabbed the extra set of keys and sped on down to the Spectrum. I was surprised because I thought that I would get flustered over this but my demeanor was mostly calm throughout. I meet up with Fiona by about 8:40 pm. Natalie was in her arms crying, Vanessa was just sitting calmly in her stroller, and Jadon was tailing behind. As I was helping Fiona put the kids in the car, she got a call from mall security saying that they had located the keys. So Fiona took off with the kids while I went to retrieve them. I got home, put the kids to bed, and finally had dinner at about 9:30pm. *yawn* Now I am at work this morning tired.


Kiddie Funny Facts

It's always fun and interesting observing my kids' quirks. Here are some:

-He's our expert butt sniffer. He'll go around and sniff the girls' butts and tell us if they went poopoo. At first we discouraged him from doing it (and we still do sometimes), but lately we just figured he's trying to be more helpful then disgusting.
-He can pronounce the letter 'S' but he can't pronounce them in words. Here's some examples:
"parking pot" (spot)
"tack" (stack)
"Keek" (squeek)
"poon" (spoon)
-He loves to sing (and he'll sing in public) but he can't remember all the words to some of the songs he sings so he'll just hum it (probably got that from me).

-She's going to grow up loving jewelry, especially necklasses. Anything that resembles a neckless, she'll put it around her neck. Jadon has this rainbow necklass with a peace sign emblem that he got from Sunday school. Natalie has taken a fancy to it and she puts it around her neck. She even puts my sleep eye cover around her neck too. Also when either her grandma or I hold her, she typically goes for grandma's cross neckless or my gold chain.
-When she's sitting up right, sometimes I'll catch her rotating in a circle. She'll be holding something and all of a sudden she is just using her legs to rotate her body. Then she'll rotate herself in the opposite direction.

-She's going to be in weightlifting. She loves to lift things up and carry them around. Remember, she's a pretty tiny baby walking around. She'll carry pillows, toy trucks (that will house smaller cars), toy vaccums, toy broom sticks, full diaper wipe dispenser, and even a 3 pounds dumbbell!
-When Jadon gets in trouble and I'm lecturing him, I'll notice Vanessa imitaing me. She'll babble in a serious tone and lift up her hands mimicking me using my index finger.


Life's Challenges

I'm bored at work so I am just blogging about life in general and giving some updates. Nowadays, things have been going well in most parts, and boring or stressful in some other parts.

I still feel like a kid living in an adults life. It's still strange to discipline my kids. Heck it's still feels weird to think that I actually have kids. But I definitely enjoy them. I love them to bits. If you would have asked me this a year ago, I don't think I would feel this way. That's due to the fact that when I don't have control over newborns, I get frustrated, impatient, snappy. I think that I have come far away from that. I enjoy staying home and not going out. Contrary to what some people think (*cough* Fiona), when I stay home just with the kids and Fiona is out, I actually play with them with the occasional t.v. turned on or surfing the net. It's very amusing to watch Natalie and Vanessa. Vanessa is independent and goes where ever she can. Natalie just follows her around (under the table , in the bedroom, in the hallway, bathroom). Then whatever Vanessa is playing with, Natalie wants to play with it. Natalie will just take the toy from Vanessa's hand. When that happenes Vanessa just cries (as if she had been physically hurt). All the while, I am telling Vanessa "Why are you crying? Take it back from your sister. Fight for your toys." This happens alot. I'm just thinking that Vanessa could just grab the toy back from Natalie's hand and take off.

Jadon has been doing quite well. His potty training is coming along. He hasn't pooped in his diapers in a long long time and he pees every now and then in the potty as well. He's still sensitive but he is such a sweetie. Just about everyday he tells Fiona and I that he likes/loves us and we make sure that we reciprocate that back with the 'I love yous' and hugs and kisses. We are still pursuing pre-preschools for him. We submitted a $100 non-refundable check to one montessori school in Irvine but their monthly charge is around $450 or so. Then there is another school in Tustin (much close to where we live) that we submitted a $200 non-refundable check but the monthly dues are ~$280 but there is no guarentee of admission yet. I can tell this is going to be a strain on the bank account come September.

Natalie has been doing much better. She is on an increase-appetite drug of sorts. We need to get her to want to eat more. She is still a small baby. She's 15 months old and she ways 15 lbs. She's trying to set a record or something. She use to eat a lot months ago but now she eats less then half of what she was taking in. She doesn't look like she is close to walking at all. Supposedly she stands on her own but I have yet to see her do it consistently. She is still getting physical therapy treatment to help her out on her muscle tone. That doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. She's still whiney but she doesn' t cry as much (I could stand corrected).

Vanessa is doing well. She too is on the appetite increasing drug. She eats more milk then Natalie but she eats less solids. She is around 15 lbs as well. She is such a happy baby and she is just all over the place getting herself in trouble. She pulls night lights from the outlet (she's attempted to pull plugs from the outlet), dumped toys in our shower, pull diaper wipes from the dispensers. She is a tough one to make cry though. Sometimes she'll test me and I'll raise my voice. The closest that I have seen her crying is a stuck out lower lip and face turing red. At night (which comes to my favorite part of the day), there is a routine that I just absolutely adore (other then putting the kids to asleep). While I am filling the tub up with water in preparation for baths, I get Vanessa undressed and let her run around naked. She is sooooooo darn cute. Big head on a disproportionate body. I have taken pictures and video on this but I won't post them on the web or print pictures and hang them up on our walls like some parents that I know.

Work is....well just work. My company has been in this emergency state for quite sometime and it seems like it will be stuck there as long as certain personnel (will remain unnamed) continue to make the key decisions. People (including myself) have gotten so use to this state of the company going under and finally being put to rest that if this company actually folds, then it will be more a relief (that's sad). I liken this to Will Farrell's character on Austin Powers. He just won't die! At times (like right now), I feel like I could just move on and go on to more challenging things. I got a significant raise over a year ago (1 raise in the past 4 -5years) but I still feel underpaid (as I am sure most people feel). But I don't think I can find a job right off the bat that would pay at a similar range and I don't have the luxury (with a family to feed) to take a pay cut.

Obviously with kids, you know that expenses increase significantly but this is becoming scary. With preschool on the horizon, and medical expenses, it's getting pretty stressful. Plus we are adding life insurance premiums which isn't a lot and it's a definite necessity, but it's an added expense. More outgoing then incoming. Fiona and I are constantly trying to find areas of our lives to reduce costs. But I think we are just about there. I'm thinking that moving is a strong possiblity in the next few years (but every freaking place in southern California is pricey). I am trying to get Fiona to sell stuff on Ebay but she's got too much on her plates with the kids (and I think she is slightly intimidated with how she is going to handle the shipping procedures). Does anybody know of legal-for-sure-way to get more money? Let me know.

Well that is all for now. It's Friday and I am going home! Peace out!


Jadon Says It Like It Is.

One of the humorous things about toddlers is their disregard for what they say. What ever pops in their head, translates through their little minds and then some limited vocabulary comes out of their mouth. Here are two instances yesterday:

1st instance
I am sitting on the computer and Jadon is sitting on his bed watching some t.v. Fiona is downstairs making some dinner.
Jadon: Is momma cooking? I don't want diarrhea.
Me: Momma is cooking pasta for dinner.
Jadon: It smells bad.

2nd instance
Fiona, the girls, and I are sitting in the t.v. room floor and Jadon is sitting on his little tykes car driving around. Natalie is whining and crying.
Jadon: I have to drive faster
Me: Why do you have to drive faster?
Jadon: Because Natalie is driving me nuts!

It will be interesting when the girls can talk and to see how all three kids interact with each other.


Jury Duty, Again!

Last week I was called into Jury Duty service and was selected. So far I have been called in 4 times in my 12 year (since I first started voting; 14 if you believe that DMV registration is valid). Of those 4 times I have served on the Jury twice. Jury duty is actually quite fun if you are selected. The only dreadful thing about it is waiting in the assembly room. The last time I was chosen to serve was back was in November of 2004 and that lasted 6 days. That case was a civil case in which a private party sued the city of Laguna Beach for injury that was on city property (park). The city won. In this case last week, it was a criminal case. The deliberations for this case was actually longer then the precedings itself. Jury selection was completed last Wednesday, we heard the case for all but thirty minutes on Thursday, began deliberations on Thursday, and finished at the end of the day on Friday. The case involved a motorcyclist charged with one misdemeanor count of reckless driving. Here is the breakdown:

- An off duty officer (driving in civilian car) was driving on the SR-133 heading into work towards Laguna Beach. (The SR-133 has one lane going south, one lane going north. It is known to be curvy road with road constructions. Many accidents have been reported on this road).
-Two motorcycles (behind) also were driving southbound on the SR-133.
-Off duty officer noticed the cyclist some couple of hundred feet behind. Pulls his cell phone from his left pocket. Officer drifts to his right (staying within his lane).
-Officer notices that the first cyclist is on his right and almost hits him. (speeding was implied)
-First cyclist pulls forward and cuts in front of the officer and takes off on the left side of the road.
-Officer centers his lane and tries to take down license plate # of first cyclist.
-Then Officer notices the second cyclist on his right. This is were the testimonies differ.
-The officer sees the second motorcyclist kick his car.
-The cyclist says that the officer drifts a second time and that the cyclist uses his leg as a shock absorber (making contact with the car) from getting his leg crushed.
-The cyclist follows suit with the first cyclist and cuts in front of the officer and continues on the left side of the lane.
-Officer sees that the cyclist crossing double yellow line and driving northbound.
-The cyclist testify that they are driving away from the unknown off duty officer for fear of their lives and pass 10-15 cars traveling southbound until they find an open gap.
-The off duty officer phones into dispatch to report the cyclists.
-6 miles later the off duty officer sees the cyclist pulled off to the side, being detained by other fellow police officers.
-Officers site the first cyclist with 2 traffic infractions. They site the second cyclist with 2 infractions along with the misdemeanor charge of reckless driving.
-Other facts:
-Defendant was previously charged with four misdemeanor charges (last one turned into a
felony charge). Charges were vague but pertained to lying or cause to do evil by covering
-Intoxication was not an issue.

This was a tougher case then most of the jurors had expected. When we initially voted, the majority thought the defendant was guilty. Then as things progressed and we continued to vote, more jurors started to vote not guilty. The final tally was 3 votes for guilty and 9 for not guilty. We ended up in a deadlock. I could see it going either not guilty or guilty. I ended up on the minority end. I just felt that with the multiple violation codes that the defendant (2nd cyclist) incurred, it was just reckless. I think that each registered driver (whether it be car of motorcycle) has a responsibility and that the cyclist's contact with the car (whether intentional or unintentional) is risky to himself and to others. Going through and seeing the judicial process is reassuring and intriguing. It may not be perfect but at least it is better then having a dictator/single party rulership.


Jadon Surprises.

We are currently (but not enforcing) the next phase of Jadon's potty training of peeing in the toilet standing up. I'll show him how every now and then and I've mention to him that someday he'll pee like his dadda, but I haven't really situated him to actually do it just yet. Well yesterday he ended up peeing in the toilet while standing up, twice! What a relief (no pun intended).

Another unexpected surprise was lastnight, Shirley came over and she brought over some kids she was babysitting, Shane and Malory (ages 4 and 6 respectively). I thought that Jadon was going to freak out and cry but the first thing he did was go up to Shane (whom he has never met before) and gave him a hug. He later gave Malory a hug. Hopefully Jadon will break out of his shell and start socializing more with kids closer to his age. That's a breakthrough.


Kids Say The Darnest Things.

Lastnight we had dinner over at Fiona's parents' house. Jadon was eating and he was saying that he didn't want to eat fat (some fat on the meat he was eating). Angeline was mentioning that he probably doesn't know what fat is. So she asks "Jadon, do you know what is fat?" Jadon responds "Mama." Ouch! We just all bursted out into laughter. Jadon was laughing but I don't think he knows why.

New Bed Transitions

This past Saturday, we introduced new beds to all three kids. I moved Jadon's crib to the girls room before his nap. So that meant that he was going to take a nap in his new "big boy" bed. He was totally excited, so excited that he ended up not taking a nap at all. He just lied in bed with doggy for about an hour. Everything went off without a hitch with Jadon as far as him sleeping in his bed at night. The girls' on the otherhand were opposite when it came time for them to sleep in their new cribs at night. Vanessa just bawled and bawled. She woke up three times throughout the night. She kept on tossing out her pacifiers. Natalie wasn't too bad. I think she cried because Vanessa wouldn't shut up. The next day went a lot better. I ended up hitting Babies R' Us to get some mesh crib bumpers so that the girls would stop losing their pacifiers. We have clips for them to attach to their clothes but they keep detaching them.



Fiona came up with the idea to compile a list of comments/questions made regarding our girls. I don't have it on hand just yet but when I do, I'll share it. Having twins certainly brings about a lot of attention where ever we go. Yesterday when we were at the Cheesecake Factory, a gentlman came walking by and asked "you get them from Costco?" I found that to be quite amusing because it came out of the blue.

A Birthday For The Ages.

I think the celebration of Fiona's birthday went quite well considering that there was only so much one can do when you have three young ones. It was a birthday that I have had on my radar for quite a few months because this one was what I call a "milestone birthday" (I won't mention what type of milestone, but it's a big one). Now Fiona's not the type (and I could be wrong) to want a big fete, so I made it a small affair and compensated in other aspects. We celebrated it by taking Fiona out to her favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory. Luckily the weather had cleared up from the storm earlier (very fortunate). Fiona had the Grilled Skirt Steak (which was quite mouth wateringly scrumptous; a new favorite dish for her, she couldn't help but mention through out the night how good she loved dinner) and I had the Crispy Chicken Costelleta (another savory dish). The kids were relatively well-behaved and just ate what we had. We didn't order any of their signature cheesecakes for dessert, I had that covered at home with the cake that I bought from Hof's Hut. I traveled out some distance to get probably the best chocolate cake that we have had so far. It's called the "Chocolate Wipeout Cake." The chocolate frosting is covered with chocolate chips. It's quite delectable. The cake is huge, it'll probably last us quite some time (we'll probably freeze half of it). Then Fiona opened her gifts. I (and the kiddies) got her Abobe Photoshop Elements 3.0. She really wanted it and had hinted at it months ago. With her new hobby of playing with photos, I thought that this is something she can start out with. We also got her a gift certificate to Burke Williams Spa. She was all over that, looking over the catalog of all of the different treatments, reading it over and over, thinking what's the best combinations to get (I think she was actually starting to get stressed out because she couldn't decide). I am quite pleased that she was happy with the results of her birthday.