Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wonder twins

Today, for the first time the boys referred to themselves as Twins.

People always ask. I always answer "yes, they are twins".

Today at lunch Ryan referred to Evan as "My twin".

It is possible that he heard me tell lots of people today that he and Evan are twins, since we were at out first "Launching into preschool" session.

The good news is that our preschool is where we have had all of our Mommy and Me classes, so at least we are familiar with the school. The bad news is come fall, I'll be dropping the darlings off and they will be on their own. Who knows what will happen those first few weeks, but I know eventually they will stop crying.

They were pretty happy today...a long as I was in sight.

Ryan brought over a stegosaurus and a styracasaurus...I think he was using them as models to draw from because he kept looking back and forth from the models to his drawing. He also drew me a pretty impressive bucket truck that I'll try to scan in and add later.

Oh, and Evan, he was drawing "Black speakers" Go figure.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Who's getting trained?

It seems like I've been working on this potty training thing forever. I started with Ryan because he showed interest and stared waking up dry in the morning and after naps. We had a few successful days, and then the crying, oh the crying started. He would wail and cry and refuse to go on the potty. He'd sit there for hours, and not go. I'd put him in his diaper, and immediately he'd relieve himself. Finally, I gave in, decided that I was doing more damage than good with my head strong, little man.

This is one of those times when it's nice to have twins...I turned my attention elsewhere.


So for the last few weeks I've been putting Evan on the potty every hour or so. He's been very successful. Every time I put him on the potty he goes. Motivated by ladybugs. Yes, ladybugs. Ladybug stickers, ladybug figures, ladybug stuffed toys, and now cookies. He has found a liking for snicker doodles. In the last couple of days he's been asking for a bite of snicker doodle every time he goes pee on the potty. So, he's chewing and swallowing, AND going pee on the potty!

We have yet to progress to telling me he has to use the toilet. Or let alone any poop deposits, but, he is staying dry in between me putting him on the potty.

I guess I'm getting trained pretty well!

***A little potty humor***

The other day Evan was refusing to pee on the potty and so I was pretty sure he had to poop. Scott and I were sitting at the table with Ryan and Evan was off reading by himself. Standing all alone, and very quiet. I whispered to Scott. "He's pooping, I'm sure of it."

A few minutes later Ryan went into the room. Patted Evan on the bottom and said. "Is there any poop in there?" he ran around the living room, and repeated his patting and asking a couple of times. (Meanwhile Scott got up to investigate) Ryan then said "It feels like a pancake" to which we all laughed. At that moment Evan said "It SMELLS like a pancake" which caused us to be hysterical with laughter. Scott barely got out "No Evan, it DOES NOT smell like a pancake"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Imaginations in full bloom

I love all of the play acting going on in our house. It regularly makes me spit water out of my mouth in laughter.

It seems everything we do gets replayed sometime later.

The doctors office: Evan with a ribbon in his hand, he holds one end up to his ear, and another to Ryan's chest. "are you here for your appointment" "Okay, let me have a listen" "great job, do you want a sticker?"

Swim lessons: "Sit there, put your back on the wall" "Jump in and swim!" "Good job, high fives" "I am so proud of you"

Feeding group: "Look friends, this food is a circle" "Look friends, Miss Kim has another food that is in the shape of a circle. It's the same except this one is crunchy!" "Let's see what our next food is friends."

Flag raising on the Fourth of July: "Okay, I'm going to raise the flag, and then sing the National Anthem, there's going to be a loud sound, but it won't be too loud."

And the reason that I even started this post, I was so blown away by these sponges I call kids.

The other day we had people working in our house on our TV's they were here all day, and at the end of the day they had the television on, and the boys were in the room. The TV was on the Fine Living Network, and Emeril was cooking something. They were watching, intently, for maybe ten minutes tops? When we sat down to dinner that evening, the boys proceeded to cut up their food and mix things all together, while narrating.

"One Tablespoon of garlic"
"One Teaspoon of salt"
"some sugar"

I freaking kid you not, Ryan said "Bam" Evan said "Bam"

I laughed so hard I was crying.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Odd Bedfellows, Part 2

Not to be out done, Ryan has his whole host of characters he retires with nightly.

(from L to R) Monkey, Froggie, Mousy, Bee, Franklin, Mama Kanga, and Baby Kanga.

FROG-ie, Baa, Pooh, Tigger, Fren-cie (AKA old puppy, Vizzy, Bleu-zy, and what ever it is tomorrow when he wakes up) and Polar Bear.

Of course the others are just supporting cast, these five, well, you don't want to be around here at bedtime if these guys aren't in bed. Snoopy, Nakey Snoopy (he tends to run around with out his ribbon on) Mamma Puppy, Baby puppy, and Kitty.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July

We had a really fun 4th of July. The day started with a trip to Old Poway Park for "An Old Fashioned 4th of July" The boys got to ride the steam engine, do some fun arts and crafts, and more importantly, pick up some American Flags.

We saw some "black speakers" and the band that was playing through them. We had snow cones, and visited with some friends. We were present when the American Flag was raised, and when the National Anthem was played. We were up too close and personal when the 21 gun salute went off. We also were on one of the Train Robbery/Gun fight we are having gun fights in the family room. (great)

After naps we went to our friends Dylan, Tyler and Colin's house for a barbecue. It was so fun. CRAZY fun. There were 3 sets of twin boys, all born just a few weeks apart. That's 6 three year old boys! Throw in a 2.5 year old girl, 9 month old boy and a 2.5 month old boy, and there were A LOT of kids!

It was so fun, the kids ran through the water, the house, the yard. There was streaking, by the kids only I swear. There was sharing, and taking of turns. There were very few tears, and really, no fights! The kids were so great. There was hugging and laughing, oh the laughter, is there anything better?

We decided that we would play staying up for fireworks by ear. If the boys were happy, and doing okay, we'd try and let them stay up to see the fireworks. They were happy and really having a great time. It was just us and our hosts left at this point, we were reading books, the kids were in jammies, and then the switch was flipped. Ryan was done. "I want to go home and go to bed!" "I want to go home" "I want to go to sleep in my bed" Evan, was game for anything. "I want to see the fireworks!" Tyler he was on a brownie induced sugar high and was doing his happy dance also ready for anything. Dylan, was cool as long as he was sitting in my lap and I was reading.

After asking Ryan if he was SURE he didn't want to try and stay up to see the fireworks, and getting "I want to go to bed!" in response, we honored our childs wishes and took that poor kid to bed. Seriously, what is wrong with this kid, given every opportunity to stay up well past his bed time, and he wants to go to bed! I love that about him. When he is tired, he is tired. He's not going to push himself, he just wants to stay on schedule.

Fortunately for Evan, he was able to see some fireworks from the car windows on the drive home. We even took a quick trip past the high school so they could see a few up close. Ryan, still wanted us to go home.

Everyone had a really nice time. It was such a pleasure to watch the kids play so nicely, have some grown up time, and enjoy great food! (Thanks again guys!)

We came within a half hour this year, maybe next year I can talk Ryan into staying up past his bed time, AND maybe I can convince him that ice cream is yummy.

Kids these days, geesh.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Father

Today my father would have been 85. That is if he hadn't had a massive heart attack 8 years ago. He died before he reached the hospital. Five days short of his 77th birthday.

My Dad was a tough man. He was intense. He defined strong willed and stubborn. He was a fierce competitor. He was opinionated and always right. Arguing with him was an exercise in frustration.

He was also very loyal. He loved to tease. His laugh was deep and his eyes sparkled.

My Dad lived a hard life. Second son of a widowed first generation Japanese woman, in a culture that valued only the first born son. He was uprooted in his senior year of high school and relocated to the Manzanar Relocation Center, in the central valley. Because of this he was in his 70's before he actually received his high school diploma. He was a commercial fisherman, a beet farmer, a small business owner, and a food workers union member for 30 years.

He worked on his feet 6 and sometimes 7 days a week. He woke up at 3 am every day to go to the produce market and buy for his produce store. Then he worked a full day in the store. Some of my clearest memories of my father are of him sleeping. Poor man, he needed it. He would fall asleep in his recliner and snore so loudly I couldn't hear myself think.

My Mom was a true stay at home mom, and my father was the true bread winner. She cooked and cleaned and took care of me, and my father worked, and worked.

On weekends, my Dad would go to the market in the morning, and then come home early and we'd watch sports together. I think I was 5 when I learned the difference between an nickel and a dime package. I get my love, my obsession for sports from my father. He was an athlete. He played baseball, and he was really good. (from what I hear) He once bowled a 300. he was a fan. We went to Dodger Games, Laker games, and Rams games for my birthday. He was my biggest fan when I became an athlete. He was also the first to tell me I sucked too.

He was hard on me. If I got an A minus, he wanted to know why it wasn't an A. If I shaved 2 seconds off my best time, he wanted to know why that other girl beat me. He pushed me. I think he wanted me to be the very best I could be, and he wasn't going to sugar coat it. I know he was proud of me because, I heard it from his friends. They'd say, "Oh, your Dad tells me you are a great student, or a fast swimmer, or that you got this honor or did this great thing." But from him, the praise was not so forthcoming, there was always a but. "you did great, but..."

Even though both of my parents, and most of my relatives only had a high school education, I never doubted I would go to college. It was always assumed, in a way that generations of college graduates expect the next generation to do the same. Looking back I think a lot of that was my Dad. I remember him telling me when I was very young, that I had to go to college so I didn't have to work as hard as he had all his life. That's why he pushed me so hard. He truly wanted me to have a better life.

He taught me the value of a good day's work. To be proud of your work what ever it is that you do. He taught me to do your best, work hard, do what you say you are going to do and to never settle. He forced me to push myself. For better or worse, good was never good enough, he taught me to want to be the best.

Although he was tough on me, from day one, I was the apple of his eye.

I was adopted, and my parents traveled to Japan to adopt me. The first day we met, as the legend my mother tells goes, I grasped his finger so tightly my Dad knew I was the one. I picked him, I wouldn't let go.

I remember as a little girl my Dad would sing to me, and dance with me. He had a very deep, rich voice, and he loved to sing Elvis, Neil Diamond, Andy Williams and Frank Sinatra to me. He also love to torment me with the Japanese songs he would learn by taping them from the Sunday morning Japanese music show and playing them over and over until he knew all of the words. (funny, I was doing that in the other room with Casey Kasem and America's Top 40!)

One of my favorite memories of my Dad, is our father/daughter dance and my wedding. We did this crazy Jitterbug. I don't know how to Jitterbug, save for a few moves. My Dad, led me, threw me, and my dress, around the dance floor. It was a blast.

There are a few things I regret my father wasn't alive to see.

One, was my return to competitive athletics. We had just started playing Kayak Polo in 2001, I had no idea what would come of this fun little game. By 2002 I had gone from a very casual player to a semi-serious player. By October of 2002, I was a serious player vying for a spot on the U.S. National team. I had a goal. The 2004 world championships were scheduled to be in Japan. I wanted to go. I've always wanted to go to Japan, and this was the perfect opportunity to get myself there.

I worked hard, trained full time for a whole year, made the team and went to Japan. My Daddy would have been so proud of me.

The second, and I'm sure the most obvious...I wish he got to meet my boys, and they him. He would have loved their spirits, their fiery personalities, their fight. I've always wanted my kids to have Japanese middle names for as long as I can remember, so when it came time Ryan received my Dad's name, and Evan, the male derivation of my Mom's middle name. While I sat in the NICU willing my boys to breathe, I hoped that my Father's fighting spirit would give my babies the strength to live.

My Dad would have been a fantastic Grandpa. That soft side that lurked beneath is tough exterior would have oozed out all over Ryan and Evan. They would have loved him.

There hasn't been a day in the last eight years that I haven't thought about my Dad. Every day for the last three plus years, I wish he was still here.

My Mom has all the family pictures at her house, but I found a few of my Mom, Dad and Grandma.

In this one I love the expression on my Mom's face. She is clearly over vacationing with my Grandma. This is circa 1954, she was 25 and I think my Grandma would have been in her 50's.

I love these two pictures of my parents at the beach, taken in 1958. My Dad was 34.
There's one more from this era that I wish I could find tonight, My Mom and Dad are sitting on a stoop in front of a red door, they look so, so young and happy and so 50's.

This is my first day of preschool. Taken in 1972. I was 4, my Dad was 48.

I miss my Daddy, today, more than other days, I wish he could still be here, in Ryan and Evan's lives. In my life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mean people suck.

I am so livid right now, still, its been like 3 hours, I've had a work out, a shower, and still I'm steaming a little bit.

The boys and I had a great morning, we went to the pool. The three of us. Me and the two boys and a large body of water. It went pretty well. There were a few timeouts that preceded our departure a little earlier than I had planned. (if you jump in the pool when mommy is not ready for you again, we are going home...splash) But really, it was all really good. Except when Evan had such a chunky burp, he threw up all over. Thankfully I got him to the deck so very little got in the actual pool. (I was able to scoop it out very quickly while getting both boys out of the water.) But, really, it was good. I swear! I'd do it again, and I will!

Because we left the pool a little early, I was able to fit in a couple of errands, one of which was a trip to the grocery store. I only had a few things to get, and this has become part of our routine. The boys hold my hands, and we all carry bags over our shoulders.

It was crazy busy today, but the boys have become really good listeners and we made our way to the check out to pay. We found a short line and waited to put our stuff on the belt. I had Evan on my left and Ryan on my right. A lady pulled in behind us with her cart and almost ran it into Evan's head. I let it go, she was no spring chicken, I'm sure she didn't notice him there, or realize how close she was to him. Then she did it again. But this time I had positioned my leg between his head and her cart, and she ran into my leg. And didn't acknowledge that she had hit me! So, I clearly needed to bring this to her attention so she was more careful.

I looked over my shoulder and said..."um you almost hit my kid in the head with your cart." there was no tone in my voice, it was matter of fact, non accusatory, just a statement.

The mean old bat had the nerve to say "he should be in a cart"

I replied with "EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

She said never mind as she took her broom cart to the next aisle over.

The lady in front of me, shook her head and said "some people and their own agendas" I don't think it was that, she was just a cranky old lady.


First of all, If you almost hit a kid in the head with your cart, and you've already hit their mom in the leg and that Mom says something to you, nicely. You just say, I'm sorry or excuse me I didn't see him there. Yes?

Secondly. It's not like he was running around crazy and she couldn't avoid hitting him. He was standing still, next to me, HOLDING MY HAND.

Third. Do you REEAALLLY need to be so close behind a person that you run the risk of running into them? I hate that about people. Why do they have to be on your heels. It doesn't make the checker check faster, or space on the belt open up, I cannot put my stuff up on the belt, until there is space, and therefore you cannot put your stuff up. I do not want to go home with the impression of your cart on my backside.

Oh yeah, and finally, Lady look I've got TWINS, where would you suggest I put the second kid? Your cart? You are probably the same lady who wouldn't move over a inch to give me an easier path when I was pushing a stroller full of boys and pulling a cart loaded with groceries behind me. (Why is it that the only place on earth that has double carts is CostCo. Believe me if I could put one in while the other was out, I would. But hey all you twin moms know, that's just not happening.)

So, what I want to know is, do people just reach an age where they think common courtesy means nothing? Or where the rules just don't apply to them? Where it is okay to almost ram your cart into an innocent child's head and then when it is brought to your attention you can make some remark other than, I'm so sorry?

I hope I never get that old.

My B-Boyz

I have the boys in a few activities. One new one is Hip Hop for 3 year old kids. If you don't think that is hysterical, you really don't know what funny is.

I was able to get this little clip the other day, but it in no way sums up the chaos and hilarity that is our every week. So much fun, we've signed up for another session!