Shadow Fear.

Lately, Vanessa has noticed shadows and apparently she doesn't seem to like it. She is especially scared when the shadows come towards her. For example, when Fiona is feeding her, Vanessa will see her hand coming towards her and she just flips out. Last night over dinner, I was playing shadow puppets with her. At first she was laughing but after a while she just started to whine. The just a few moments ago she was climbing up the stairs and I used my hand shadows as an alligator. Boy did she get up the stairs fast! I like to torment my kids (in a fun way of course). Ain't I a mean father?


A Coupla First Timers.

Yesterday evening, we took the kiddies to the pool. It was the girls' first time swimming. We should have gone swimming earlier in the summer but Fiona had to find some nice and well budgeted swimwear for the girls plus there were so many people at the pool. I have to say that the girls did extremely well for the first time. Vanessa instantly loved it. She was just giggling and walking around the kiddie pool. She'd squat down until just her head was above the water. She was splishing and splashing. Natalie was timid at first. She cried initially when she stumbled and her face hit the water but her fear subsided after watching her sister having fun. Natalie was pretty much stationary for most of the time. I can't help but fell sorry for her because she was just standing their shivering the whole time. I'd grab her and sit her down so the warm water would just cover her body but she squirmed until I let her stand. She had baby goose bumps all over her arms. I recall that when Jadon went swimming for his first time, he was so scared and clingy. Actually now that I think about it, he was yesterday. I took him in the big pool and he didn't last five minutes. He wore his inflatable tube vest and I held his tube for balance but he wanted to go back to the kiddie pool. What a little sissy! Last year he loved the pool. He even at one point told me to not hold him anymore. I guess I will have to dunk him a couple of times the next time we go.


A Sandy Ol' Time

Yesterday, after dinner, we took the kiddies to a park (about a 5 minute drive). There, we let the kids loose and boy did they just go hog wild. The girls were climbing everywhere. Vanessa is so much more of a busy body then Jadon. She has no fear. Natalie has gotten a lot more adventurous as well. She use to cry when you put her on the jungle gym but now that she sees her sister having fun, she wants to too. Then the girls discovered a sand pit. They just seem to really enjoy themselves in there. This was probably the messiest time they have ever had playing in the sand. Usually they avoid it because of their instability to walk on it. They also had their first taste of sand, especially Natalie. She took a handful of sand and tried to pour it in her mouth. Her mouth was encrusted full of sand (which stuck due to her endless drool). I have a picture of it on my cell so as soon as I off load it, I'll post it. When we got home, it was off to the showers for all of them. All I can say is "gritty butt cracks." Yes, the girls somehow got sand inside their diapers and in their butt cracks. Not only that but Natalie had sand stuck in the crevices of her molars. I brushed the heck out of her teeth but I couldn't get it cleared out at all. It was a sandy proposition but we'll have to do that again.


Health & Health Insurance.

About 5 months ago I had an MRI of my jaw. At the time, the doctor said to pursue the next level of treatment, they would have to call my insurance for pre-authorization. I called two weeks after that to see if they had gotten authorization. The doctor's office said that it would take about 4 weeks to get approval from my insurance. Well it's been 5 months now and I just called a message from that doctor's office. They said that they have been calling my insurance to get authorization but that they are put on hold for an extremely long time and thus didn't want to wait any longer. They go on to ask that I call my insurance and notify them that they have been trying to contact them. Nice! Like I'm going to want to be on hold forever. Luckily my jaw hasn't been in any pain for a while now. I think I will just push off the whole matter until it starts hurting. No point in being stuck with a jaw brace when it doesn't hurt.

Father-Son Chat.

Now that Jadon can talk, our conversations seem to lean towards a deeper meaning. Every now and then he'll talk about gibberish but then there are those that stand out and make some sense. Yesterday Jadon and I went to go pick up some bread at Pat & Oscar's for dinner. This was our conversation after getting back to our car and driving on home:

Jadon: Dadda, you have bread in your hair.
Me: I have bread in my hair? Well you have baboons and flies in your hair.
Jadon pretends to freak out and swats his hair trying to shoo away the baboons and flies. He laughs.
Me: Do you have issues?
Jadon: Yeah, yeah. I have problems.

I just bust up after that. He sounded serious when he said that too. At least my boy is honest. =)


Saturday Night Church Class.

On Saturday evening, Fiona, Jadon, the girls, and I went to church. It's been a long time since we have all gone to Church together. Usually Fiona and I take turns taking Jadon to church and the other parent stays home with the girls. Well this time we thought that we should enroll the girls in Sunday (in this case Saturday) school. Unfortunately, it didn't work out as planned. I was paged within ten minutes of dropping them off. The teachers couldn't stand the horrendous sound coming out of Vanessa's mouth. So I took both girls and we played outside the sanctuary until service was done. They seemed to have fun at that point playing with some of the other toddlers that were walking around as well.

Vanessa has become very possessive as of late. When she becomes fixated on a toy, empty box, or a tissue, she won't let anyone have it. If you take it away from her, she cries (as if someone just hit her). Towards the end of church service, Vanessa was playing with a train that one of the kids had let her play with. I had to take it away from her and return it to it's owner. She just broke out into a painful sounding bawl. I don't recall Jadon remotely acting like this when he was her age. Luckily Natalie does exhibit that behavior (just yet) .

Doggie Addiction.

As some of you know, Jadon has an addiction to his doggie. He sleeps and naps with him in hand. He sniffs him all the time (yes I said sniff). He talks about him almost all the time and when he does, he laughs hysterically. He'll be in the hall and he will look in his room and laugh out loud and say "doggie is looking at me." It's a love affair. Well this past weekend I had just awoken Jadon up from his afternoon nap. It was dinner time. As he was getting out of bed he had to have his quick fix on doggie and sniff him madly before he let go of him. I told Fiona (jokingly of course) that maybe the reason why Jadon had those bloody noses a few weeks back is because he sniffs his doggie too much.

Closing Ceremonies.

This past Saturday was the final installment of Jadon's 3 week class of games. Class sized has dwindled from the first week or 8-10 kids to five (luckily for Jadon the kid that made him cry last week was there for the last class). The teachers attempted to teach hula hooping, followed up by hula hoop tossing. Then they had a game called Sharks N' Minnows which was essentially the kids had to get from one side of the room to the other side without getting caught. Finally they had the last game of Dodgeball. Jadon lost interest quickly. It was three-on-three and Jadon was not really into it. He was playing around with the tie-ups on his shorts using them to poke his eye and laughing. At the end of the session, the teachers had ice creams for the kids (and parents too!) and certificates. In a few weeks, Jadon will start up another activities class which will cover outdoor sports. Hopefully it won't be too hot for him.


The Miracle Blanket.

Last evening Fiona, the kids, and I went to our friend, Steve & Kindra's place, to drop off something that hopefully will provide useful to them as it did for us. It's the miracle blanket. At first, when Fiona bought it online, I was really skeptical. I was amused at the diagrams in the instruction and didn't think that a smile would be brought to either of my girls' faces. Luckily, I was wrong. We ended up swaddling the girls in these blankets for a long long time (I think 7 months). The good thing about it was Fiona had ordered two of them and was charged for only one. They run at about $30 a pop but it was worth every penny.

Anyways, we dropped off the blanket and got to stay for a little bit and see their little 'peanut' (as they love to refer her). -Last time we visited all of our kiddies were sick so we didn't want to get too close and get them sick.- Fiona and I got to hold Danica ('peanut') and she has some cushion to her unlike Natalie and Vanessa. She's 11 weeks old and she weights 11 lbs. She'll eclipse either one of our girls in no time. The girls were fine when I held her but when Fiona held her, Natalie was crazy jealous. She'd push her away and cry. As long as Fiona wasn't holding Danica, Natalie was fine. The only downside to this visit is that it has perpetuated the little inkling that Fiona wouldn't mind having a fourth child (a baby brother for Jadon). Luckily for me, the only way it would happen is by the grace of God, otherwise it ain't going to happen. Talk about the craziness running in my family.


Another Scaredy Cat In The House.

We have another scaredy cat to join along with Jadon and his fear of flies. Vanessa has just seen an ant for her first time and from what Fiona told me, she bawled. Then at breakfast time, Fiona was feeding Vanessa and she noticed the shadow of the spoon hovering over her hand. She apparently bawled and refused to eat her food. Fiona ended up having to take the high chair tray off completely before Vanessa would start eating. This can be amusing, but I hope it doesn't get out of hand.

18 Month Wellness Exam.

Yesterday I meet up with Fiona at the pediatrician's office for the girls' wellness exam. The last time I went to one with the girls was well over a year. Fiona had mentioned how the last time she went, she had her hands full with both girls' crying nonstop (especially with Vanessa). So this time we decided to at least level the playing field. That's where I came in. For the most part, they weren't too bad. They cried when they were measured, weighed, checked out, and given shots. All in all they easily calmed down when we held them. Here are the specs on them:

weight - 17 pounds 12 ounces (not even on the curve)
height - 29 3/4 inches (on the curve! 8th percentile!)

weight - 18 pounds 3 ounces (not even on the curve)
height - 30 1/2 inches (on the curve! 20th percentile!)

I can't say that I wasn't dissappointed. I was hoping that they would have achieved the 20 pound mark by now. By law, babies have to sit facing backwards in the car until they have hit 20 pounds and are at least 1 year of age. I recalled that when Jadon hit his 1 year mark (he was well over 20 pounds at that point) and we switched him over to forward facing, he was a different baby. He was a much happier baby. That's what I wanted for the girls. So towards the end of our session the doctor asked if we had anymore questions and at the last second I decided to inquire about forward facing at their age. The doctor said that it was perfectly fine to flip them around. She said that the girls are well developed and strong enough. Now I'm all excited because when I'm driving, I'll be able to see them.


Summer Games.

Last weekend was the first of a three week summer game course that Jadon is partaking. This last stint didn't turn out as well. They had to stretch, then they played red light green light, Simon Says, four corners, then finally duck-duck-goose. Jadon did all right in red light green light. Simon Says was really advanced for most of the three year olds. It was four corners that things went down hill. The object of the game is you had one 'cat' who was holding a ball and everyone else were 'mice.' The teacher would roll a dice and what ever number (1-4) was rolled, you have to run to that corner. If you got hit by the ball you had to freeze. Well Jadon was doing fine initially until it was his turn to be the cat. He threw the ball and hit a boy (the same one that we avoided last week) and that little boy retaliated. He pushed Jadon (by no means hard or anything) enough to make him cry. He wanted to stop playing and wanted to go home right then and there. I had to console him the whole time. The boy got lectured a little bit but I don't think the mother has control over her kids. He pushed another kid too. But I told Jadon that he can't be too sensitive and to not cry so easily. I asked him if it hurt and he said it didn't. Jadon's going to end up crying alot in school, I just know it.

Kiss On Command.

The girls have developed another cute thing. They kiss on command now! When you ask for a kiss, they just press their lips on your face (mouth, cheek, or nose). Sometimes they'll do it in response to you kissing them. Sometimes their face is full of drool and they smack you with a big, sloppy, wet kiss.

Home Association...Has It's Moments.

Over the past month and a half or so, Fiona and I (mainly Fiona) has been trying to get the property management to come and fix our gate. Apparently movement on the ground has shifted our gate to not close and latch itself. It has been a combination of phone tag and the inability to reach anyone who deals with property damage. Plus when Fiona did get a hold of the people they seemed to be somewhat incompetent. I originally had a lock on the gate but I had removed it in place of the stock knob (no lock). Well the person from management called and left a message (one of many) saying that there was a person that had came down to look at it but the gate was locked. Either the lady is lying or the guy who came down to look at it looked at the wrong house. Late last week Fiona bumped into our neighbor. In my last post of dealing with Home Owner Association, we haven't had the greatest experience with him. Anyways he asked us if were trying to get our gate fixed and Fiona explained our situation. Later that day we got a call from the Property management saying that they received a call from our neighbor and the next day they had someone out working on our gate. In a matter of two days, everything was done. They put some spacers, a new doorknob, and repainted (or retouched up) the gate. I guess our neighbor isn't as bad as we thought. Still though, that's what we're paying for right?


Seek Comfort & Territorial.

When Natalie has been scolded by me and her momma isn't around, it can be amusing where she turns to seek comfort. She'll avoid me like the plaque and she'll seek comfort from her sister. She walks up to her and tries to put her head on her shoulder. It is sooooo cute to see her do that. What's funnier is Vanessa will push her away. Vanessa will walk away from her and Natalie will follower her. And for some reason when Natalie cries, she likes to cover up her mouth with her hand.

Natalie has seemed to exhibit a territorial trait. Fiona will be sitting at the computer and I'll be sitting right next to Fiona (near her left leg). Natalie will stop whatever she's doing, come over, and push me away. And when she's doing that, she's whining (but in amusing way). I'll keep doing it just to test her and she keeps doing what she does. One time I was sitting next to Fiona and Natalie was in the process of walking right by me. Then she took a sharp turn towards me and tried to push me away. It's not like she's wanting her momma's attention (although sometimes she does), she'll just whine until I leave and then she'll resume whatever she was doing. I've put Jadon next to Fiona and Natalie will do the same thing, BUT I have put Vanessa there and Natalie was fine with that (although I think she has pushed her out of the way a few times before). What a strange little girl!

Puzzling Transition

Yesterday, we received our next puzzle challenge. Fiona selected this next piece, Ravensburger Singapore Edition. Last night we needed to begin our process of finishing up our last puzzle. We're planning to frame it and hang it up somewhere. First off, we needed to glaze it with puzzle glue a few times. Of course it didn't help that I goofed the puzzle trying to move it from the puzzle mat on to some plastic wrap. Der! About 15% of the puzzle came apart. It took Fiona and I about 45 minutes to put the pieces back in place. So probably within the next week we will start on our new puzzle.


No News Is Good News.

Fortunately I don't have anything to report which means that the kids are behaving themselves and there is no other chaos going on in my life (for now). I better enjoy it while I can.


Potty Training Near Completion.

Late last week we put Jadon in underwear for the first time. We got him a three pack "Bob The Builder" underwear . Initially we put an underwear and then a pull-up over that. Then a few days ago we took the pull-ups off and now he's just wearing underwear. So far so good. He hasn't had an accidents yet. We still put a diaper on him at night though. So he has been going pee in the potty really well. Fiona and I get him to the bathroom quite frequently even if he tells us he doesn't need to go. Usually I would assist him by hold him and aiming him but yesterday he didn't want me to help. So I just stood off to the side and he did it himself. He still needs some practice aiming and he needs help in other areas but he's finally making that final turn.

Superman Saves The Day.

After a weekend of frustration, I was able to get some "me" time and catch a movie. I watched Superman Returns with my sister-in-law's husband, Elliot. The movie wasn't stellar (compared to X-Men) but it was entertaining. We caught a 3:00pm matinee showing. The rest of the evening I was in a great mood. The girls could have been on their worse behavior and I would have still been in a playful mood with them. I told Fiona that she should take some time to do the same thing. I think she needs it too.


A Rough & Tough Weekend.

This past weekend was pretty rough in terms of taking care of the girls. Having twins has it's good moments and then it has it's bad moments, especially when they are both sick. Apparently I have overused my new found powers because it appears that the girls' aren't responding to me like they were (hopefully it's just a momentary lapse). Vanessa looks like she has just about recovered. Saturday's dinner feeding was really bad. I was so frustrated with her because she wasn't eating at all. Normally I wouldn't be wound up at her but she really put up a stubborn front. I mean if she was of normal weight, not showing her ribcage, eating all right, I wouldn't have asserted myself like I did on Saturday. I showed Vanessa my stubbornness to feed her. Now, I know the pediatrician said that you shouldn't force kids to eat but I felt that I had to. Fiona and I have exhausted all other friendly options. Vanessa has always been stubborn when it comes to eating and that she really does need to eat because I (as a parent) feel that it's almost a life-or-death thing, especially with the girls. They eat crappy portions already. So Saturday, there were two wills clashing head to head. I would raise my voice louder and louder with phrases like "Vanessa!" or "You need to eat!" She kept her mouth shut close for the longest time. The only way I could get food in her mouth was when she'd cry. I felt terrible doing what I did but I don't want her to deteriorate in her weight and growth.

Last night Natalie hit a bad moment. Actually it started on Saturday but yesterday seem just as bad if not worse. She was crying nonstop during the day, throughout dinner, after dinner. We'd pick her up and she would want to be held a certain way. Then after a while when we'd let her down, she would just cry and cry. Sure, the solution is to pick her up and hold her but when you have another two kids in the house, you can't do that all day long. Then to top it off, she wasn't eating either (not as bad a Vanessa so I didn't impose my will on her). Hopefully she's just sick and is getting over it.

Jadon was pretty good for the most part (there was an occacional timeout here or there). On Saturday, Fiona, the girls' and I took Jadon to his first summer outdoors games class. He's enrolled in a 4 session class filled with games and then another 4 session sports class. He had a lot of fun. They started off with stretches. It was funny because all the parents were performing the stretches (i.e. jumping jacks) and the kids were sorta of doing it but pretty much look at us. Then the first game was duck-duck-goose. It was funny because when Jadon was the 'ducker' he wouldn't pat the heads. He would point with one finger and not touch anyone. What a little germaphobe. That was further progressed with tag. Jadon was just running everywhere not avoiding the tagger. There was a boy that I was having Jadon avoid because when the boy would tag someone he'd clothesline them (ouch!). And the boy's mother was just praising him for tagging someone. Then the next game was capture-the-flag but it was actually a cone that needed to be captured. That was a much more complicated game. But I have to say that there was only one time when the cone was actually captured and it was Jadon who succeeded. The last game was just everyone sitting in a circle hold each other's hands and going around slapping each other's hand while singing a song. Jadon appeared to have lost interest in that game quickly. That was pretty much the end of the first session.

Yesterday, we went to a beach in Corona Del Mar. It was at a park called Heisler Park. Very nice park that overlooked the ocean. We strolled along the cliff and then I took Jadon down to the water. We only played for five minutes but he had a blast. He was just laughing when the water hit his feet and the sand around it melted away. He kept on saying "look dadda, I'm swimming!" At one point he lost his balance and fell in. Luckily I grabbed him before he got completely soaked. We'll have to come back and have him actually go for a swim in the ocean.


R.I.P. Pirateship

This shows the evolution of a gift that was given from my brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Nicha:

1. Paul and I huffing and puffing to blow up the pirateship back in the beginning of May. Our faces were turning red from running out of air.

2. Jadon is enjoying his gift with a little r&r on his own cruise.

3. The ship has been converted into a storage bin for all the kiddies' toys and has apparently suffered quite a number of leaks. After two short months it is unfortunately no longer in service.

4. Look on the bright side, we now have a much durable storage bin to put those toys in.

Clean Freak-To-Be & Time-Out Thinker.

A few days ago I took Jadon out to a sports park nearby. They had a huge playground area and what's really nice about it is they put a huge (and I mean huge) awning to shade the whole area. Well luckily when we went, there weren't many kids so that meant that Jadon wouldn't feel to reserved about playing. He's the type of kid to look around and observe his surroundings. It takes him a little bit to warm up to playing. Eventually he started to play and I told him to go down some slides. He would look at one slide and say that he was "'cared" to go down then I told him to go down on another slide. He looked at it and said "This one is too dirty!" *Smacked my forehead* It wasn't that dirty. It had black pen marks on the slide itself. Apparently he has developed Fiona's compulsion for cleanliness.

Lastnight Fiona was telling me how she had to put him in timeout. He of course bawled. She put him in the corner of our downstair's bathroom and told him that when he stopped crying he could come out. She said that he just cried and cried and all of a sudden he snapped out of it. She went to check on him and asked if he was done crying and he said he was. Then later on she put him in another timeout. He cried and cried. Fiona checked on him and asked him if he was done crying. He stopped, thought about it, responded with a "no", and went back to crying again. What a crack up.


4th of July Happenings.

The day started off with Natalie developing a fever. So her day was pretty bad from the start. She didn't eat much at all and she reverted to her newborn self. She whined and cried throughout the day.

For lunch we originally had planned to go to a local park for our own picnic. We deviated from our plan when Fiona's mom mentioned to us that her church was holding a barbeque picnic. So we went to her church's (Calvary Chapel) picnic. It was a carnival style with games, booths, and lot's of food. A lot of people were there. Fiona and I, in the midst of the crown, actually saw a couple of friends of ours. Fiona's mom ran into some people she knew as well. Unfortunately during their conversation, her friend received a call notifying of her mother's death. How horrible is that? Natalie didn't eat a single thing at the picnic and was crying pretty much the whole time. The Vanessa started to act up. Like any improvising parents, we gave them water bottles to play with. That pretty much shut them up for a good 10-15 minutes. Fiona's dad took Jadon to the play area where they had several inflatable jumping gyms. Jadon had went inside one of them, looked at the kids jumping, turned back around and got out. He decided that it wasn't for him at all.

After the picnic outing, Fiona and I took the kids home for their afternoon nap. For dinner, we (Fiona's parents and us) went to the local park. Fiona had prepared some egg salad sandwiches and some ham & cucumber sandwiches, chips, watermelon balls, sliced apples, cold lemonade, and chocolate brownies. Natalie was still crying and not eating. So I had to use my poweres of persuasion to get her to stop crying and eat. That was a little challenging but in the end I prevailed (somewhat). I think she ended up eating some bread, some cheerios, some gold fish crackers, and some apples. It was great to hold a picnic in the evening because it was nice and cool. After dinner, the kids played at the park. Then after that it was bedtime! We put them to bed and Fiona and her mom went out to watch the fireworks. Fiona's dad went home and I immersed myself in playing with my PS2.


Have A Happy 4th!

Hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Harnessing My Newfound Powers.

Have you ever seen the movie Dune? There is a scene where a character by the name of Paul Atreides (who later becomes Paul Maud'dib) is able to harness the power to use his name 'Maud'dib' as a weapon. I feel that I could have a power just like that one.

Fiona and I have come to the conclusion that the girls are just not listening to their momma. When they climb on the couch, Fiona will scold them to come down and they look like they just ignore her. When she tries to feed them, they turn their heads and refuse. That's where I come in. Initially when I had to scold them I really had to raise my voice and lightly slap their hands which would make them cry. But now all I have to do is say their names (and sometimes my tone won't sound raised). Fiona will be feeding the girls and she tell me that they aren't eating and I'll just come over and say "Vanessa" and she'll just open her mouth. It's amusing because Vanessa looks really intimidated because she'll avoid eye contact. Someday I hope to harness my powers to the point where I won't need to say anything. I can just give them a frown and they'll obey.

A Couple Of Sick Kids.

Jadon's nose has stopped bleeding but it sounds like he has developed a bad cough and a mild stuffy nose. The one thing that is a nuisance about him coughing is that he is constantly coughing towards us, in our food, on our hands. We keep telling him to cough away or into his arm. He lifts his arm up but it doesn't cover his mouth at all. I don't think he knows the purpose of using his arm at all.

Vanessa has developed a pretty bad case of a fever. She was burning up on Saturday and Sunday. She has been extremely needy over the past few days which makes it nice to hold her. Poor little kid. Natalie on the other hand has been unaffected. I just hope that Fiona and I don't catch it either.