Sunday, January 27, 2008

Our newest Mischief Maker

We had an ultrasound on Friday. This shot is of the baby's face. As usual with ultrasounds the details are a little bit on the fuzzy side, because ultra sounds are in 2D and just represent a cross section. With this particular shot we got lucky in that you can see the baby's eyelid and that the eyes are closed. Other details that are easy to pick out are the eyebrow bones and the shape of the skull. We are almost to 21 weeks! Only 19 more to go!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Deep Thoughts by T

As church began this morning my second-grade son was surprisingly calm and quite sitting on my lap.

Suddenly in the middle of the opening hymn, he looked up and said confidently:

"I think there's no such things as bottomless pits."

...Didn't see that one coming.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The "You've Got Your Hands Full" Rating

I've learned to determine how well an outing with the boys went based on the "You've Got Your Hands Full" rating. Just like the popular TV shows where the audience gets to vote for the winner, the "You've Got Your Hands Full" rating is determined people around us. Just like golf, a low score is better.

The votes come in about three degrees:

1. The courtesy vote. (Sometimes called the "I can't believe you have so many kids" vote, or occasionally, the 'been there done that" vote.) This is not really a count against us--its like the freebie vote. As we walk through the store with kids hanging all over the grocery cart, or doing everything but walking in a straight line towards our destinations, almost expectantly someone (usually a couple or a mom) kind of chuckles and says, "You've got your hands full."

2. The silent vote. Most of the votes are of this type. This vote is cast when a clear reaction occurs by an innocent bystander after noticing us. Sometimes the reaction is a look of disgust as if to say, "can't you control your kids?" Most often, though, it's a silent look of compassion for the suffering we parents go through when no power on earth can get our kids to cooperate. Sometimes its combined with a crooked smile, as if to say, "glad it's you and not me."

3. The vocal vote. This is the most powerful vote. This is where people straight-out say, "You've got your hands full!" because its too impolite to say what they are really thinking. These are the most painful votes for parents to endure...and usually lead to social isolation until the kids move out and finally understand for themselves what parents have been telling them their whole lives.

Example:

One dark and stormy night shortly before Christmas I ventured out to Costco alone with my three youngest boys. (note I didn't even have all five boys) Our goal was to get two or three simple items--an easy in-and-out job, no problem.

The mission started out very successfully, then suddenly, we turned the corner and there were samples!!

Like a fish to a shiny lure, (including the big googly eyes) my three young boys flocked to the table like metal shavings to a magnet. Tilting their heads up and looking down their noses to see what treat they might find, they realized it was cheese spread--the gross kind, but different flavors. In a flash, with lightning speed, my youngest started grabbing crackers, saying I don't like that, putting it back, then grabbing a different flavor.

Meanwhile the other two, bailed at sight of the 'disgusting' samples and started down the aisle on their own aimless path. The poor lady preparing the samples gave a half smile (vote #1--silent vote) as, one after another, she grabbed the now contaminated crackers and put them in the garbage. I couldn't tell if she was frustrated that he kept grabbing them or if she was kind of excited to get rid of more of them so she could go home. I could feel the piercing eyes over my shoulder from passersby as they watched with dread as my son slowly wiped out their chances of getting a sample. (at least 2 silent votes)

The trip went down hill from there. It seemed like years trying to drag (physically and verbally) the three boys the last fifty feet to the check-out while they begged to look for more samples. After all its not fair that they didn't like the last sample. (I'm sure we got at least two more silent votes.)

Finally we made it to the counter. The boys were very clever here. They knew I would be distracted by the purchase transaction and wouldn't be able to step away once I was committed to the transaction.

So as the lady rang up the sale and I tried as fast as I could to swipe the card and get out, the boys decided to tease and chase each other around. They were loud and even started hurting each other. Here I was helpless trying to move-on so I could do something about it.

The checkout stand at Costco has to be one of the worst places to for kids to act up. You have a huge line of people all focused at the same target. Not only do they have a front row seat to the drama performed in front of them, but you are the one thing blocking them from their ultimate goal--to get out and go home.

So the dilemma is do I hold up all these people to chase my kids around, or do I pray the kids will maintain some degree of caution and responsibility so I can finish and let these poor folks behind me move on. That's quite the dilemma--with little or no time to analyse your decision!

In the end, the two ladies helping at the checkout stand each said, "You've got your hand full"--and one of the customers behind me in line said, "You've got your hands full." (3 painful vocal votes.) That doesn't count the myriad of silent votes on that long embarrassing walk, with the groceries and struggling kids in my arms, from the check out to where that lady draws that ironic smiley face on your receipt.

Total: 8+ "Sorry, you are not a winner, try again."

Nope! No Thanks.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Some Disneyland Pics

Posing with their Mickey Mouse Suckers

Cinderella decorates for Christmas


This was on the last day in the parks, can you tell I am tired?


One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Lego Store...