Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stress Management

A nice reminder:

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8oz. To 20oz.

The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.”

“If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.”

“In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. “

“So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work/life down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.”

“Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax; pick them up later after you’ve rested.

Life is short. Enjoy!”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby Adam

I guess when your first child is a girl, boys have princess sheets and pink blankets.

Adam is just a little silly sweetheart of a baby. These days he is toddling all around the house. It is often noted that he is bowlegged and seems to walk just like dear ol' Dad and Grandpa Tom! He babbles constantly and gets very mad when he doesn't get his way. He says Ma Ma and Da Da very clearly, but I can't say for sure that he has any other words. He understands a lot though.

These days what I am enjoying most about his babyhood is seeing his face smile and show those 6 teeth, and I love to watch him walk down our hallway into the kid bedroom to wake up Frannie. I always enjoy the tickles and the legs that are only 15 inches (or so) long.

Things you are doing:
Play with balls. Go fetch. Rolling. Bouncing. Throwing.
Chasing box-elder bugs and picking them up.
Playing w/ your Little People race-car set.
Eating a constant stream of Cheerios and cheese pieces.
Holding your doggy or teddy bear to go to sleep.
Rocking side to side, side to side, excitedly when you wake from sleep and I'm coming to get you.
Getting up on Mom and Dad's bed and buring your face into the pillows and blankets. This is fun! Especially when I grab your ankles and drag you across the bed and flip you over to tickle your stomach.
Anything that involves pouring water and splashing is good. There is a lot of nakey wading pool time this summer.
You've learned the rule of "Anything Sister has I want."
You and Frannie play together more but you also get into each other's space more and have more crying episodes. (I prefer it this way though. I like that you play together more and more.)
I know I said this already, but you bury your face a lot and it is very cute. You like soft things so you bury your face into the cat's fur and lay on her. You also do this to the stuffed doggy. You bury your face into my chest or shoulder when you are sleepy. You bury your face and then lay on your tummy all smiley when you are very excited in general. It's kind of a "play with me" or "tickle me" posture.

There is so much fun to being your mom. You are full of cuddles and laughter and babbling. I like to make you laugh and smile so I'm always doing silly things for you like chasing you and playing "BOO!". Yesterday we played hide and seek. You laughed so hard everytime you found me. I know Frannie loves to play with you too. We all call you JJ all the time. It is confusing to relatives, but it makes sense to us.

You are a doll baby and so much fun to love-up everyday. My sweet wonderful baby boy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Huh? Gymnastics?

Jason has been watching the Olympic trials non-stop when he gets home from work. This evening he was watching gymnastics with Adam and Frannie and she asked "Dad, what's that?" He told her "gymnastics". She says "Gymnastics!!" all excited and proceeds to somersault all over the living room floor (and bonks her head on the entertainment center). So now she wants to learn gymnastics. This isn't part of the plan!

State of the Union

Head- sinus pressure
Ears- feel funny
Nose- clogged
Throat- razor blades
Lungs- some hacking
Tummy- fine
Body- general fatigue
Mood- good
Productivity- good

Got some antibiox. Hoping it works.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Occupational Hazard

Fran likes me to read her this book.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Masterplan begins!

Little Fran had her first ballet lesson on Monday. And yes it was so adorable and yes I was one of "those moms" with her camera in the window giggling. Take note that there were at least three of us doing that! This is the first time that I've signed her up for anything where I'm not required to be there too. It was so sweet to see her with the other little girls and doing such a good job of paying attention and trying to copy. I often think of her as my big girl because she is older than Adam, but seeing her from a distance she just looked like such a sweet-cheeked baby to me. All those little girls are such babies! Adorable.

Now, most of you know why I have this blog address as "dancing family" but some of you may not. Jason and I took a lot of dance lessons while we were dating. It was our Thursday night date. Well, one series of classes turned into another and then another and before you know it, we started getting pretty good! So then we started learning different dances, and then we even entered a few competitions. We've earned 3 first places in the Hustle (it's the only dance we ever competed in). We know how to West Coast Swing and Nightclub Two-Step and we can do a little Salsa and a little Country Western Two Step. Now, we aren't super-fabulous dancers or anything, but considering that the average person has no clue how to partner-dance, we look like we know what we're doing. Anyways, we don't go out dancing really anymore because family-stuff has shoved its way front and center into our lives, but we're still dancers at heart and always dance in the house.

So...that brings us to The Children. See, we have to live vicariously through them so we decided long ago that our children must learn to dance. They just have to. It's a family tradition now. So it is convenient that I had a girl and boy so that we have built-in partners.

The ultimate goal is that they learn to Hustle and West Coast Swing like good ol' Mom and Dad and Gramma Bobbie, but I have a secret hope that they take it a step further and actually get really good. I'd even be happy if they became ballroom dancers. Believe it or not I've already Googled where Benny Schwimmer's studio is in Redlands. He's Benji Schwimmer's dad (who, if you live in cave, won So You Think You Can Dance two years ago. Not the dad. Benji. Whatever!) I also found a YouTube video of Lacey Schwimmer (Benji's sister and another contestant on SYTYCD) dancing West Coast Swing as a little girl. She is so good!! And it is the cutest number.

If my kids are this good, I'll just die!

Anyways, for now we're just having fun with the kids and of course I don't take this 3 year old ballet stuff too seriously. I'm thinking of signing her up for Hula just because I think she'll look cute in the outfit and they have the kids dance to cute songs "She's a little brown girl, in a little grass skirt, in a little old shack, in Hawaii." We'll see. It all costs money, so we'll see. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

More reasons why I love our street:

In addition to the iguanas and belly dancing parties, there is a lot of fun to be had here on Scarlet Oak.

1. I've got cool neighbors. Most of my neighbors are Muslim which makes for an interesting cultural learning experience. The family across the street is Egyptian. Next to them are two families, one from Lebanon, one Pakistan. There is another family next to them from who knows where. And then another one from who knows where. I'm sure I'll ask soon enough. But there are kids kids kids everywhere which makes for lots of entertainment for Frannie and Adam. The kids across the street come over almost everyday and hang out in our garage. Frannie especially likes 4 year old Omar. His big sister Reem (age 11) comes over a lot too. Jason happens to be extremely popular with all of the kids (all boys except for Reem and Frannie) because he fixes their bikes. I keep teasing him that he's the "cool guy" on the street.

2. Cool neighbors cont... Our other neighbor two doors down is deaf but she reads lips perfectly. It's amazing. Her name is Toni and she is married with two highschool aged boys. She drives around in her huge black Hummer and always stops to say hi and stuff. I can have these really long conversations with her and she just keeps reading my lips. She's taught me a few signs. All of the colors so I can teach Frannie and of course the bad words because darnit they're so fun.

3. Wendy's is on the corner. A few days ago I was watching my girlfriend's daughter Miriam and I took the kids for a walk to Wendy's for a Frosty.

4. Albertson's is across the street from Wendy's. This afternoon I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner and I decided I wanted to make burritos. Well I had everything I needed except the tortillas. So into the double stroller go the kids and it is a short walk to Albertson's to get what I need. Convenience!

5. There are nice neighborhoods to go walking in. Since our street borders Claremont there are none of the "seedy neighbors" worries that you sometimes get in other areas. That doesn't mean I don't have to exercise normal caution, but it feels safe around here and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

As seen in front of my house...

A humongous iguana.

Who knew this street could be so interesting!?
So here's how it happened. The kids are playing in the garage with the garage door opened. I know there are tons of neighborhood kids outside so I'm just inside the house cleaning the front bathroom. All of the sudden I hear my next door neighbor call out Jamie! So, I look into the garage and there right where the gargage door comes down is That-Thing. Whoa my God! bbbbbb! I got a mad case of the willies grabbed the kids and tossed them into the house and closed the garage door before it came inside. I'm doing the willies all inside the house and then of course I grabbed the camera to document "Wild Animal Kingdom" in Pomona.

Turns out it was out of its cage sunbathing in a neighbor's back yard and just decided to take a little stroll. Hey, I like walks too. One of the neighbor kids knew whose it was and went to her house which is on a completely different street. She came in with her big yellow gloves and just grabbed it up like a wandering puppy. Wow.