Saturday, June 30, 2012

Misunderstandings, aka "Kids Say the Darndest Things"

Today I shall tell of two stories involving the Smurfs and some misunderstanding on my part.  I preface by saying that kids will say things innocently, but some of those things can be easily misinterpreted and can make you wonder about your own thoughts and feelings.

Story 1:  When we visit my wife, one of our routines is to take a lap around the ground and 1st floors.  During one trip the hallway was empty except for an orderly/nurse/tech/hospital employee person wearing gray scrubs and of Middle Eastern origin.  The hallway is quiet, and as we get close to him Smurf 1 says rather loudly "What is that gray thing?"  Trying not to overreact, I ask him "what do you mean?"  He then points in the direction of the guy and repeats the phrase.  Now I'm torn between avoiding eye contact, looking at the guy and giving the "kids are crazy" shoulder shrug, or standing up straight (since I could tell I was bigger than him) and give him the "I dare you to say something to my kid" look.  Instead, my wife opted for the smart option and asked him for more clarity. He points again, but this time he says "That gray thing there.  The thing with the words. What does it say?"  My heart finally started to slow down and we read the sign to him (loud enough for the guy to hear) and kept on going.

Story 2:  As we're walking through a hallway to get to the elevators to visit my wife, Smurf 1 says loudly (I think he only has one volume level) "What happened to the man?"I look up and down the hallway to find out what person he has identified, but I don't see any guy except a \really fat guy walking (like take-up-half-the-hallway fat).  There happened to be two women walking behind us, and I heard one of them go "ohmygawd!" and the other one started giggling.  Remembering what happened in Story 1, I asked him to point and describe who he is talking about.  He then pointed to the hallway (away from the fat guy) and said that there was a statue there that was now covered up.  I told him that the hospital was probably fixing something and he would be back later. 

So what have I learned?  That I need to make sure my Smurfs clarify anything that may be embarrassing, although there will be that day where my fears will be confirmed.

On a good note, my wife came home for 6 hours today again, which was a huge relief again.  We did almost nothing and it was glorious.  Also, the in-laws did not stop by (yay!).  I still have to do some laundry, dishes, and bathe the kids (they did not take a nap until 6!), but i'm still happy about today.  Tomorrow will be a different story.

Smurf 2 likes to chirp like a bird.  Well, she likes to make all kinds of sounds and noises as part of her acting/singing/dancing repertoire, and one of her favorite things is to chirp like a bird.  It's annoying, constant, and cute at the same time.  She will go from sounding like Donald Duck to chirping to doing penguin noises.  It's a weird skill she's developed but it suits her personality.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Quick Note, aka "That's Just Creepy"

While I was cleaning up last night after the Smurfs went to bed, I started watching one of the Twilight movies.  Normally I would not watch something like this, but I was bored and it kept me busy while cleaning (I have some difficulties focusing on one task at a time).  I understand that it's catered to teenage girls (and some older women with issues), but I was creeped out by the fact that you've got this guy who, though looks 18, is really a helluva lot older and is crushing on a 16/17 year old girl.  I just kept thinking "this guy is a pedophile" in the back of my head.  Maybe it was just me, but if he was really such a gentleman then he wouldn't be hanging around a high school picking up girls as if he's David Wooderson/Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused.  Why not go to a college and pretend to be a freshman or sophomore?  That's all for now.

Daily Anecdotes, aka "The Good, The Bad, The In-Laws"

So today was stressful work-wise but i got through it with minimal psychological damage.  The in-laws weren't as bad as they could have been, but it still makes me flirt with the idea of smoking again.  So today's highlights:

Spent almost two hours explaining to an 18 y.o. why he has to lose some of his SSI when he makes more than a certain amount per month from working.  He kept saying that it was b.s. and wasn't fair.  I finally got to the point where I told him "yeah it sucks, but that's life.  You learn to deal with it or make enough money so you don't rely on it."  I still know he's not going to grasp it and will only try to remember parts of the conversation.

5 members of my in-laws visited (two sisters, parents, and a niece).  Two more are supposed to be in the area tomorrow.  I know they are trying to be helpful, but they aren't.  I appreciate their offers of assistance, but after all these years i'm surprised they don't know what I would and would not accept.  I would not accept someone else cleaning our house unless we are moving.  I would not accept them cooking at our house to feed the kids (I'm slightly insulted by that one).  I would not accept them taking the Smurfs away while I "relaxed" because they I don't agree with their discipline style (none at all) and I wouldn't relax because I would be worried about them.   They could take a cue from my neighbor who borrowed my lawnmower; he mowed the rest of my backyard and didn't even mention it afterwards.  That's classy to me because he didn't brag about it afterwards or make a point multiple times of saying that he wanted to help me.  He just did it and then left it alone.  That man deserves a thank-you card!

Mother in-law brought a lot of useless crap as usual.  I think she's one of those bag ladies in the store that just pick up random stuff and gives it away when she realizes that she has picked up crappy things.  This is the dress she brought for Smurf 2 (who is only 3) and thought that it's something she would like.  Smurf 2 has her own sense of clothing style and will often match her colors, creating pretty decent outfits.  She looked at that dress, then her grandmother, and just walked away (had to stifle a laugh).

Why would you offer to give a hyperactive, adrenaline-driven 4 year old a toothpick? That's just an ER trip waiting to happen.

I know I am overweight and need to exercise to be in better shape. However, after watching my in-laws have difficulty keeping up with my Smurfs I felt much better about my fitness level.  Also makes me realize how easily I can exploit/utilize my children as exercise equipment. 

We made chocolate chip cookies.  Well, Tollhouse made the cookies and I heated them up.  Anyway, while eating them I noticed Smurf 1 rubbing his ear with his shirt and moving as if his ear hurt.  I checked it out, and he had chocolate in his ear.  Apparently he stuck a chocolate chip covered finger in his ear and left part of it there.  I got it out without freaking out, but I almost called the wife about it.  See, I don't do well with minor medical issues such as fevers, headaches, stomachaches, etc.  IF it's something major like a broken bone, severe fever, strep (happened once), viral meningitis, etc. then I don't have problems with them because i'm used to helping with those types of situations due to my job.  I think dealing with the worst has me prepared for worse-case scenarios, but then whenever something minor happens I wonder if it's going to blow into something more.  Just part of my anxiety issues I guess.

31 weeks and counting now.  In two weeks we do another growth check, and if Smurf 3 hasn't progressed enough in growth then they're going to deliver him.  If he has, then they'll let him stay until 36 weeks.  We shall see what happens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Long Day, aka "My Blood Pressure Keeps Rising"

Don't think I can take any more surprises today.  My wife was supposed to come out on a 6 hour visit today but couldn't because during a NST the heart rate of Smurf 3 went WAAAAAY down.  It went back up, but the doctor freaked out and moved her to labor and delivery. I thought they were going to deliver any moment, which had me freaked out because when I was told I was in the middle of being with a client and his mom at the hospital, I still had to turn in paperwork so I could get paid, I had to contact several people for paperwork so other people got paid, I had to clean up the rest of the house because in-laws were around (oy vey), and I had in-laws visiting.

Luckily, everything has worked out.  She was on monitoring for 4 hours and had no changes or issues, so she was returned back to her room.  However, she might not get another pass to get out and that flat out sucks.  I was able to get one person discharged from the hospital, but then remembered I have to send information to another hospital for someone else.  I also need to follow up about an assault claim and Adult Protective Service call.  I got in my paperwork but not all of it (but I will still get paid so that's good).  The house is clean, the in-laws are bothersome (and will be back on Friday and Saturday), and I'm ready for it to be Sunday.  However, the Smurfs are still fun so everything will be okay.  I think I can keep my blood pressure in check long enough for my wife to get back home. 

I think it's funny that my daughter, Smurf 2, will allow me to wash and comb her hair in the tub but would never allow my wife to do it.  Smurf 2's hair is exactly like my wife's hair (very curly and thick), and I sometimes have a harder time with it.  However, she did not (and still doesn't) like for my wife to do her hair.  She even prefers if I'm the one putting on her headband, doing a ponytail, or whatever hairstyle she likes at the moment.  I also need to buy a few more dresses for her since she keeps asking to wear one every day; she currently has 4 that she likes.

Smurf 1 is going to eat us out of house and home.  I swear that boy eats almost as much as a teenager.  On the regular he eats anywhere between 2 to 3 helpings of dinner along with 2 snacks and possibly a third.  Luckily he prefers to drink a lot of water (puts me to shame) and will drink 1/2 cup of juice or a juice box per day.  Smurf 2 will drink water but only if she's very hot or nothing else is available.  Otherwise, she's got a juicebox or cup of juice in her hand.  Or strawberry milk.

So now we are on the way back to the hospital to get a good dinner to my wife.  They wouldn't let her eat while monitoring her, and she's hankering for some Outback food.  

Misspoken Word of the Day:
 *Preface - I try to use words that my kids should know with minimal euphemisms. Today I was speaking with Smurf 2 about using the bathroom, and that's where today's word comes from.

Browse Moose.  "That's a lot of Yuck daddy."  "It's called a poop or bowel movement."  "Ok.  That's a lot of Browse Moose."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Relaxation Day, aka "Everybody's Sleepy"

Yay for today.  My wife got to escape from the hospital for six hours today.  The docs are thinking she can make it to 34-36 weeks (she's 31 and 2 days right now), which will be better for the baby.  He's still severely growth restricted, so we're hoping that by the time he reaches 34 weeks he could be at least 3 pounds.  But it was nice to have her around and get to relax, even though both Smurfs were tired and a little whiny.  Could have been they were thrown off by their mom being home, or the fact that they didn't get to sleep until 12:30 a.m. and woke up around 9 this morning.  So they were sleepy-cranky today instead of just kid-cranky.

As for me, my wife keeps saying that i've lost weight.  I don't think my gut has gotten any smaller but she wants me to weigh myself soon to check.  I guess because i'm having to move around more and I'm eating less.  I've not been extremely hungry for most things and I'm trying to cut a lot of garbage foods out of my system.  Yesterday was the first time in three weeks i've had soda, and it didn't taste right to me.  I'm mainly drinking water and some juice (orange apple, blended, etc.) while eating much smaller meals. Hell, Smurf 1 eats more food than I do at lunch and dinner.  I would definitely like to have time to exercise, but the best I do is running around with the Smurfs.  Yesterday, mowing the grass was the most i've sweated in a long time (I could wring the sweat out of my shirt) and it felt really good to just be dirty like that.

While outside I had the kids help me dig a hole to bury part of their swing. Because they are much heavier than when we first purchased the swing, it tends to tip a lot.  So i've got some gear to stake the back part into the ground, and we were able to do one hole yesterday.  I'm hoping on Monday to do the other one so that I don't have to worry about them tipping the whole thing over while swinging.

I did get some cleaning done today, which was helpful to me to see that I can take care \of the house.  Just gotta do the shopping tomorrow and keep the kids fed and entertained.  Think I'm going to start them riding their bikes again and doing a book time.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Long Day, aka "Time Flies When You Have a Lot of Crap to Do"

So far I have:

Washed, dried, and folded some of the laundry
Did the dishes
Did the trash and recycles
Swept and cleaned up most of the living room
Got the kids up and microwaved their breakfasts. Twice.
Made sure the kids packed their bookbags correctly for daycare.

Still to do:
take the kids to school check!
Finish the laundry halfway done
mow the lawn 75% done. Just the part they play in
pay the bills check!
plan and prepare for dinner check!
dust and vacuum the entire house didn't even start
clean the kitchen and 3 bathrooms kitchen is mostly done; that's it
Finish up as much work as possible got half of my stuff done.
Not go crazy because I've only got about 5 hours to do it in actually only had 3 hours

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Cuteness of my Kids, aka "That Makes Me Smile Every Time"

One of the things I do to relieve stress is sing songs with my kids.  Not the stuff that's on the radio or even oldies (although they do like a few oldies I'll list out later), but stuff that appears on Micky Mouse Clubhouse, Sesame Street, Team Umizoomi, etc.  I've also gotten to the point where I will interact with my kids in public as if other people aren't around, so many of the things that we end up doing may be embarrassing under normal circumstances.  Today, as we're leaving the hospital, the Smurfs started singing a song from Team Umizoomi.  Not one to be outdone, I started singing Elmo's Ducks with them.  Now, when we normally do it I sing Elmo's part and they do the duck noises/acting.  So imagine a grown man walking with two kids doing an Elmo voice while they're quacking like ducks.  We did this 3 times in a row while walking past visitors, doctors, nurses, volunteers, security, etc.  Although I was aware of people staring (and potentially commenting), I couldn't have cared less because they were happy and so was I.  We've also done public performances of We Make Music and Sing After Me, one time drawing applause from someone we walked by.  I like doing stuff like that because it reminds me that no matter how much stress i'm under, having fun with the Smurfs is a priority.

As I've noted before (and if you can't tell) I refer to my kids as The Smurfs.  It's now more of reflex to say it randomly, and they respond accordingly.  They have never seen the cartoon and have only seen Smurfs through a McDonald's Happy Meal promotion.  However, Smurf 2 likes to constantly ask when in the car "Are we there yet?"  Now she knows where we are going most often and when we will get there, but she likes to do it because I pretend it's irritating.  So whenever she asks I always go "Not yet my little Smurf" until after the 5th time I will go "NOOOOOOO!!!!!" in a goofy voice.  My inspiration? Here.

Misspoken Words of the Moment:
Taskifier. - "He has a Taskifier in his mouth."

Nipple.  "I have two Nipples dad.  Do you have any Nipples? Here [Smurf 2], you can have one of my Nipples so you can buy something at the store."

Another Day, aka, "I Worry Too Much"

So yesterday was a mostly good day.  My wife got to leave the hospital for 6 hours, so we (family) spent a lot of good time together.  I mean, we do it each day that we visit but it's so much more better being away from the hospital.  Today they checked the growth rate of the baby and he's still behind.  However, the tech said the baby is growing symmetrically, which means that his body is growing proportionally.  That's better than asymmetrically, which would indicate potential medical and cognitive issues after birth.  It still sucks that he's behind in growth, but it appears that Smurf 3 would be a smaller person regardless.  When I say smaller, I mean smaller than us.  I'm only 5'11", my wife 5'9".  Both kids are pretty tall for their age, especially when I compare them to other kids their age.

Work is still a pain and I would really like to have some stability right now.  I like the fact that I can be flexible with it, but because I have limited time during the day because of the kids I spend most of the night playing catch up.  I think right now my average time to go to sleep is about 3 a.m., and I wake up between 7 and 8 a.m.

So i'm pretty mopey right now, but I try to keep things in perspective.  I follow a blog of a guy named  Rob (,  and he is in a much more difficult situation than I am.  I feel I have no place to bitch and moan about laundry, cleaning, cooking, and taking care of things because things are still relatively good for me and the Smurfs.

Misspoken Word of the Day:
Anglish.  "That's not Spanish, that's in Anglish."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A History of Books, aka "Reading is Fundamental"

I love to read.  If I could, I would spend most of my time reading books.  I don't know what it is, but I will even read bad books just because I want to finish it out.  I'm not the same with movies or games because I don't have to think about them as much as I do with books.  With movies you get to see everything and don't have to think much (unless it's a really good movie).  Therea re a few games that I like, but for the most part I prefer to be with a book.  It's so bad that whenever I get one to read I usually finish it within a day; I've ignored everything else before just to finish a book (skip dinner, showering, going to work, etc.).  I've stopped my book reading because of so many things I have to do since I'm supposed to be a responsible adult, but every once in a while I get the chance to pick out a book and finish it in a few hours.

That being said, there are so many stories that I remember but not the titles.  Luckily with the internet there are good descriptors for stories, so I just type in part of the plot to get the titles. I plan on trying to keep a list of all the books i've read (even as a kid)  just because it's interesting to me.

My favorite book of all is Dante's Divine Comedy.  I'm not a religious person,, but something about it just draws me.  Other than that my primary genres are horror fiction, comic books and collected editions, science fiction, and the occasional mystery anthology.  Here's what I can recall off the top of my head:

1. Almost all the VC Andrews books up to 1995 - My high school years.  I saw the movie Flowers in the Attic and was curious about the stories.  So I read that one and enjoyed it.  The rest? Not so much.  It was just... bad.  Most of that was about incest, rich families, and people being weird.  But I still read them.

2. The Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
3.  All the Iceberg Slim novels - I can thank my mother for that.  I found a stash of books she had and read almost every single thing she had, one of which was Airtight Willie & Me.
4.  I read one Donald Goins book, which I did not like.  Haven't read another once since.
5 . Journeys of the Catechist books by Alan Dean Foster (writer of Aliens).
6.  Everything Stephen King has written.
7.  Most of Dean Koontz's work, before his similes became really bad.  The Bad Place was my favorite.
8. World War Z.  Awesome book.
9.  Alfred Hitchcock Presents The Three Investigators.  Every. Single. Story.  Very cheesy but interesting to me.
10. Encyclopaedia Brown books.  TV show sucked.
11.  Repairman Jack novels.
12. The Iliad.
13. Odyssey.  It always took me a few pages to begin to understand the style of speak and be able to follow them.
14.  My Brother Sam is Dead. I read this in the 5th grade and initially had trouble with it, but then got into it about halfway through.
15. Beowulf
16. Grendel.
17.  The "Choose Your Own Adventures" series up until I was 17.
18. The school reading lists that include Tom Sawyer, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Pearl, The Lion, Witch, & Wardrobe, etc.

Cooking for This Dummy, aka "Where's the Pepto?"

When I was in college I used to cook only for myself.  This meant that whatever I made did not look like what it was supposed to; I didn't care as long as it tasted okay.  Luckily I met, fell in love, and married a woman who has excellent cooking skills.  Over the years I have tried to learn how to do some basic things so that I can understand what she does, but frankly I still need to read the box of things while she can just pull it from memory.  Now that I am tasked with the cooking, I find myself trying to remember how things are done, double-checking every recipe, and calling my wife to make sure i'm doing things right.  I try to stick to her normal formula of a main dish, vegetable, preferred food, and a fruit of some kind.

Right now the Smurfs are happily eating a dinner of mac & cheese, tater tots, hot dogs (Smurf 2 only), apple sauce and mixed fruit cup, and shredded cheese (they like cheese!).  No one wanted the turkey burgers that I had to call my wife about twice to be reassured that I wasn't going to kill them with it.  Did it matter that I ate one?  Nah, I can tolerate half-cooked food because that's what I used to make.  Both seemed to like everything else because their plates are almost empty.  However, I think my son may be taking after me because he just poured the juice from his fruit cup into his milk and drank it.  Although I think that's something to try, my wife surely would have had a fit.  Plus he likes to mix his food to try out a variety of tastes.  He once mixed a bite of turkey burger, applesauce, and milk; he took several more bites after I told him it was okay as long as he wanted to eat it.

Fortunately this was not my first successful daddy-only meal.  The first real meal I cooked in the past few weeks was pancakes.  I was able to get them very close to the way my wife makes them, and the kids ate them all.  Of course Smurf 1 complained of a stomach ache a little bit later, which had me worried that he was sick from undercooked batter or something (he had to go to the bathroom).  I did do a crockpot dinner the second night alone with them of turkey chops, cream of mushroom, peas, corn, rice, and fruit.  They actually ate it without complaints and I was proud to have done it.  I will try meatloaf at some point, but I've got to make sure I have a backup meal in case it doesn't turn out well.

Misspoken Word of the Day
Violent.  "Look at the pretty rainbow! I see orange, green, violent, yellow, red, and blue!"

"Are They Twins?" Count of the Day
I've had 2 of them today, and 4 of "they're so cute!".  The short response still works.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Misspoken Words, aka "What Did You Say?"

I want to start something like this because, to me, my kids are funny.  See if you can guess the actual word.  The quotes are real.  By the way, I always provide them with the correct word, and they usually repeat it so that they can get it right.

1. kinoculars.  As in "daddy, I can see you through my kinoculars.  You look so close!" 

2. Crunch.  As in "I wiped my crunch with toilet paper."

3. Samami.  "The very hungry caterpillar ate cake, ice cream, samami, ..."

4. Simanem.  "Dad, I like to have simanem in my pancakes."

5. Praying Magnet.  "What does a Praying Magnet eat?  What is it a Praying Magnet?"

Meeting New People, Aka "Are They Twins?"

I am not a sociable person.  Rather, I prefer not to socialize with a lot of people.  Aside from my wife I don't have any true friends. I have people I associate with, joke with, and even talk about some personal things with, but overall I wouldn't consider any of them close.  Case in point, those who could be considered my "close friends" don't know that I write this blog and don't know my wife is in the hospital.  Hell, I think only one person knows that she's even pregnant, and that person isn't someone I normally associate with.  My wife is the same way and didn't tell her family she was pregnant until she went to hospital at 27 weeks; her family has visited at least once a month and never said a thing (although several claim they suspected).

I say all this because I am forced to be more sociable than normal because of the Smurfs.  I used to only be alone with them one day a week, and most of the time we did our own thing and ignored other people.  Now that we're together almost all the time, I end up taking them to many social activities and places (I don't want them to become fat, lazy, tv watching schlubs like some kids I know).  So now on a daily basis, whenever we're in public, I brace myself for uninvited conversation starters from others.  To be fair, the Smurfs are cute and even more so when I'm talking with them while walking or having them hold my hands or each others. *

*A side rant here: when I talk to my Smurfs, I speak to them as if they're intelligent enough to understand proper English.  I have never used baby speak with them or said anything in a sing-song voice (which one of my sisters-in-law does all the time).  If they don't understand what i'm saying, both will readily ask me "what does ---- mean" since both have been speaking in complete sentences since they were two.  So when we're walking and talking, they may sound smarter than kids who are still using one or two-word phrases at the same age.*

Anyway, the most common thing I am asked is if they are twins.  I used to answer "No, they are a little more than 11 months apart in age" but have stopped because that usually provokes additional questions such as who is older (how the hell can't you tell? One is bigger than the other), do they get along well, do they look like their mother, do they get their hair from their mother, are you going to grow their hair like yours (I have dreadlocks), etc.  Therefore I have modified my answer to "nope. 11 months."  It's not that I want to be rude, it's just that I don't want to talk to people.  Only the most die-hard of people will try to continue a line of questioning, so I continue to shorten my answers even more until I'm just looking at the Smurfs and saying something like "You guys ready to go?" which is my BIG hint that I am not going to answer any more questions.  And heaven help the people who just make comments; all they get is a grunt in recognition from me, and then I ignore them.  Luckily I have taught my kids better social skills than I show.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fun Times, aka My Kids are So Cute!

Even though I'm stressed on a daily basis, my kids do things that makes me forget everything for a little while.  There aren't any grand gestures or amazing things that they do; it's the ordinary stuff that make me smile.  For example, whenever they're walking (and getting along), sometimes they will hold hands and walk together and talk about making sure each one is okay.  Smurf 1 will also help Smurf 2 out of her carseat if I ask, and they always hug afterwards (I can just see the sugar oozing out of their heads!).  One of the best things is when we go visit my wife (now known as Mommy Smurf or MS), they like to hide things behind their backs and give to her as a surprise.  It could be anything (toys, socks, food, the newspaper, maps, etc.), but the look of joy on their faces to give Mommy Smurf a present sends a smile to my face and makes me forget about all my concerns.

Something else we have been doing since they were young; we name parks and playgrounds by what is there so they can easily identify things and tell us what they like.  There's the bus park (there's a play bus there), the drum park, the train park, the airplane park (because it's near an airport), the sand park, the castle park, Julian's park (near a school friend's home where they had a birthday party), and the inside park (which they don't really like because, well, it's inside).  We also do the same thing with the malls ("play store" and "bookstore" are two of them) and museums ("play museum", "bone museum" and "earth museum").

So now they plan out fun things they want to do; I'm only told about it right before we're supposed to go.  Apparently Smurf 1 and Smurf 2 discussed it, decided where to go, and i'm only told when I'm needed to provide transportation.  So there have been some heated discussions (as heated as you can get with a 3 & 4 year old) about what will and will not happen.  I'm trying to teach them how to plan ahead, although I know at times that can be a hard concept to grasp (especially for Smurf 2).  So right now as it stands we are going to several places tomorrow and Saturday, but not Sunday (according to Smurf 2).  Why?  "Sunday we are supposed to rest."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6 Hours of Fun, aka Jailbreak! aka Smurf 1's birthday

I'm doing better with handling my wife being in the hospital. Yesterday she was able to come home for 6 hours (I called it her temporary release from prison!) because of Smurf 1's birthday, which was fun.  We did a cake at his day care and his sister got to attend it.  Afterwards we went home to relax, out to eat, and then to the store for presents.  It was odd to have my wife home knowing that she could not stay, but I didn't say anything about it.  I could tell she wanted to stay as well but wasn't going to cry in front of the kids. 

Anyway, they had fun eating out and were doing a LOT of talking.  I mean non-stop chatterboxes on everything and anything.  Smurf 1 kept talking about his birthday, asking other people about their birthday (strangers can be so nice to cute children!), when was my birthday, and when he would turn 5.  Apparently he has all sorts of plans when he turns 5, which include:

- Going to kindergarten
- Sending his babies to school (y'know, the 100 babies he has living in the clouds)
- Being able to read
- Riding a train (still not sure why that was there)

Smurf 2 was a little jealous and kept saying that she needed a birthday present and a birthday card.  I showed her what she got when it was her birthday, but she wasn't satisfied.  At first I thought it was a problem with understanding since she's 3, but after listening to her talk and actually restate in her own words what I told her, I knew she understood but didn't like it.  So, like a ninja of the night, she cajoled her way into getting some stickers (not a big deal although I know they'll end up as a decoration on our floors).

While dropping off my wife at the hospital, the Smurfs were playing on the couch in the room.  This couch is one of those that will open up to a bed (very uncomfortable) and was a hideous dark blue color when pulled out;  However, when paired with a rocking recliner with the wheels locked it becomes a perfect setting for a pretend ocean.  They jumped off the chair/dove off the beach on the deep blue bed/ocean.  They then swam around, pretended to spit out water, and rescued each other from sharks, trains (again with the trains!), bugs, pirates, and other things.  It was quite cute and I wish I had taken a video of it.

Things do appear to be getting better, and my wife will speak with the doctor about trying to do these trips twice a week until the delivery.  5 1/2 weeks left to go.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Smurf 2, Aka Sneaky Smurf aka Princess Smurf

Smurf 2, the younger of the two, is my little girl.  And she's VERY sneaky.  She's more of an introvert than her brother, and is aware of everything that's going on around her even if she's not reacting.  Where her brother will announce everything that he has done or is going to do, she'll do it and try to do it without anyone noticing.  Case in point, if her brother has a juice box and she has finished hers, she will wait until he puts it down and turns his back.  She will casually walk near it, hover for a minute, then walk away with it or swap his full one with her empty one, and pretend like nothing happened.  Smurf 2 is also famous for asking to hold things in an attempt to get at something.  The only time she helps carry groceries or bags is when she want something out of them.  However, instead of saying what she wants she will go "I want to hold that bag."  She will then carry it to where it needs to go and walk away casually, holding her treasure in a way so that we're not supposed to notice she has it.

She is very girly and loves to wear dresses and play with dolls, which started almost six months ago.  Prior to that she preferred trucks and "boy" toys like bikes, trains, action figures, etc.  I admire how she is very sociable when needed but will stay to herself or not reveal any information to anyone.  Her handwriting is better than her brothers and her artwork has much more details.  Where Smurf 1 has great gross motor skills, Smurf 2 has great fine motor skills.  I think she will be writing and reading by the time she is 4, which would be great considering how much she enjoys books.

I know there is a lot more about her but i'm going to stop here.  Time to get them to bed.

Smurf 1, Aka Hyper Smurf

At some point I started calling my kids Smurf 1 and Smurf 2, and they have taken to those nicknames.  What's funny is if I call their names, they may ignore me but if I say "Smurf 1 and Smurf 2!" they both respond immediately!

Anyway,  Smurf 1 is VERY hyper; he reminds me of myself a lot of times.  This boy will run back and forth in the house when he gets to the point where he has too much energy.  He likes to jump off things, and so has accumulated a variety of scars and bruises on his legs and hands.  At times I wonder if he has a sensory issue because of the way he tenses his body and wrings his hands when overstimulated (anxiety, happiness, excited, etc.).  I originally thought of Autism or Asperger's but he doesn't show any other sign except for the body tensing.  He definitely has an active imagination because he tells us a variety of stories based on things he's been read or he's seen.  His current play story is that he has 100 babies that live in the clouds.  Their names?  Baby 1, 2, 3, etc.  He gives them lemonade and oatmeal to eat, takes them to school, and goes on adventures with them.

He's mainly interested in boy-type stuff: wrestling, fighting, playing, jumping, looking at pictures.  He's not a fan of coloring, writing, or arts and crafts. However, he does show the emerging reading skills for his age and knows all the beginning sounds of words.  Plus, he likes to make jokes and will even try to make his own euphemisms.  At some point I will have to list them because they can be quite funny.

And that's Smurf 1.  Up next, Smurf 2.

The Twilight Zone aka "Me, Myself, and I"

So with my wife potentially in the hospital for the next 5 weeks due to severe preeclampsia, I have become the part-time stay-at-home dad.  So far she has been there for almost 2 weeks now and is trying to convince them to allow her to leave for a few days just to break the monotony.  My kids, Smurf 1 and Smurf 2, have adjusted a lot better than I have.  Smurf 1, who will be 4 tomorrow, had a harder time at first because he hates hospitals and doctors (like me!). Smurf 2, who just turned 3 last month, doesn't seem to worry about it as much (or at least doesn't show it).  Once we told them she was having a baby and was not sick, then they both seemed to be happier about not having their mom at home.  Here are some of the questions I've been asked since they found out:

- Why is she having a baby at the hospital?

- Did she eat a baby? Is that how it got in her stomach?

- If she didn't eat it, how did the baby get in her stomach?

- What's the baby's name?

- How is it going to get out?

- What's his name?

- Does he eat food?

- Can you open your mouth so I see him? (asked while he's looking in my wife's mouth)

- Can I play with him? (asked while tapping on my wife's stomach)

So now i've taken over her jobs at home, which is quite a lot.  We had everything split as far as chores, responsibilities and such.  But now i'm taking care of everything, and since I organize things like my thoughts, things can be chaotic at home.  Plus i've still got to work 30 - 40 hours a week (somehow) while taking them to daycare 4 days a week while cleaning, cooking, shopping, planning meals, dealing with in-laws (oy vey!), and dealing with crisis situations (so far 3 days of scrapes and bruises).  I stress but i handle it okay because I also know that my wife is struggling as well because she has to be away from us and is not relaxing at home.  Oh well, time to make breakfast and get everyone ready for school.