Sunday, September 2, 2012

Oh the places we will go...

 After a Summer of smooth sailing, reality hit.  Jess went back to work and I officially began my Monday/Tuesday baby sitting duties. I never made claims that having the three of them at the same time would be easy, peaceful or any other adjective that would translate to not needing some sort of miracle to survive.

The day started off calm.  One at a time, my precious angels awoke.  First Josh, then Jayden and finally Jaycee.  Each of them were groggy for a bit and were content to stare at the couch until the invisible shackles slumped from their shoulders and they could finally move.  I sat still and quietly much like a cage cleaner who gets locked in a cage of lethargic lions and is trying not to be noticed.


As if some imaginary gun shot in the air, they all scrabbled like rabbits.  The rest of the morning I spent chasing, looking for, scolding and spinning in circles.  Then Jaycee bolted for the bathroom.  She had to take her morning number 2.  As I was heading to check on her I see Jayden out of the corner of my eye, squatting with a red face and teary eyes behind the rocking chair.  Clearly she is also creating a work of art in her diaper.  As I head over to handle that, little Josh tugs on my leg.  I pick him up and quickly realize that he also answered natures call and has successful filled his diaper with foulness.

I take the baby to the changer table and we are followed by Jayden.  I lay him down and start to take his diaper off.  As I do this I see Jayden is trying to help me by removing her diaper as well.  Normally this isn't a probably except for the fact that she has a round brown ball about to roll out.  As if on cue, Jaycee begins to yell "I'm all done!" every 4 or 5 seconds.

I somehow manage to get everyone taken care of without getting poop on the walls and am already exhausted.  I look at the clock hoping it is close to 2:45 p.m. (when Jess gets off work) and let out an unintended groan when I see 8:22 a.m.

I realize how far out of my league I am when I have to confiscate Jayden's foam baseball bat after she went on a 4 minute long reign of terror hitting anything breathing in the head with it and after fighting a 10 month old for my bowl of cereal. I decide its time to cheat.  I throw them in the car and we hit the road.  Destination: unknown.

Part 2 to this story to follow...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another talker...

Jayden has really started to express herself lately.  Her vocabulary seems to grow every day.  She tells stores and jokes and she even lets us know when her brother is crying.  She is a natural comedian and is a happy girl (most of the time).

One of the funniest traits that has emerged from her is her constant need to keep track of everyone.  If she is home with me while her Momma and sister are out, we need to have a jayden style conversation to establish there whereabouts:
Jayden: DADA (very loudly, we are still working on volume control).
Me: Yes Jayden
Jayden: DADA Where Momma
Me: Momma is at the store
Jayden: DADA, Where Jay D (Jaycee sounds like Jay D when Jayden says it)
Me: She is with Momma at the store
Jayden: DADA Jay D at store
Me: Yes
Jayden: DADA, Momma at store
Me: Yes, you are correct

After establishing this, she is content.

The other day we went to the park and took the dog (Mishka or Mish for short).  When we finished at the park we loaded the kids up then Mish in the back of the car.  We got about a half mile away and Jayden started frantically asking where Mish was.  Jayden is determined that she will never leave a family member behind, including the dog.

Little Jayden Rylee is such a sweet little girl.  She loves her sister and her brother and is really becoming her own little person.  She has a wild streak in her that mostly comes out at night and she loves teasing her big sister.  Actually she just loves the reaction she gets and Jaycee is not short on that.

Word to the wise and potentially left behind: always do role call and check-in with Jayden and she'll make sure you are accounted for...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A little boy...

I am not sure why it took me so long to finally put pen to paper on our newest edition (not so new, he's 3 months old). I feel like I was waiting to see what profound thoughts would hit me or what amazing lines I could write. Then I realized that there isn't any need for that. Not that Joushua Gunnar isn't a wonderful baby. He is worthy of the most profound of profound statements. But I think what I have noticed is that I love this little guy just like I love his big sisters.
I'm sure as he gets older and his sister get older, I will realize there are some differences on my role in their lives and I'll gain a better understanding of those differences as time goes on. When we found out we were having Jaycee, I hit the books hard. I wanted to know what I was supposed to do to turn this little girl into an independent and confident woman someday. After all the research I determined the best thing I could do was be there for her and show the example of the person she might one day want in her life. Then we found out Jayden was on her way and the same rules applied.
When we found out Joshua was on his way, I instantly began piling on the expectations of him. Poor little guy wasn't even here yet and he had a to-do list! After much thought I figured out those expectations weren't on him, they were on me. Its my job to show him what a man is. This spiraled into a whole philosophical internal discussion of how to measure a man and what makes a good man.
I had a soccer coach once that had a motto. When I was feeling a little fancy or added an extra juke when it wasn't necessary, he'd kick a ball at me and make me do four up downs while I spelled the word "K-I-S-S" out loud. Keep It Simple Stupid. I have the same role for him as I do for his sisters. Be the person I want him to be in his life.
I have three reasons in my life to become a better man now. When things get confusing K-I-S-S...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Artist...

One of the fun side effects of Jaycee going to preschool is the heaps of crafts and art she creates. I am always amazed how much her teachers do for their projects. I can imagine how hard it would be to try to keep 15 four year olds from tarring and feathering themselves and each other when they have art time. Also, their ideas are very creative and make me realize that anything can turn into an art supply if you look at it correctly.
Jaycee enjoys art so much that she draws during free play activities too. At the end of the day when parents are picking up their little ones, there is a file box with a folder for each kid. In it the teachers put the art they can take home or various nick knacks they collect in the folders. When Jaycee first started, they would put her free play drawings in there. She usually did 2 a day and they consisted of random lines and colors that she was interested in. Inevitably when you asked her what the picture was, she would say "a rainbow". As time went by, her drawings got a little more complex and she began to draw faces.
Then, one day, the pictures stopped; there weren't any pictures in her folder. After about three days, I asked Jaycee if she still liked to draw. She said yes and that she drew a picture of Jayden that day. The next time I came to pick Jaycee up, her teacher stopped me on the way out and walked me over to Jaycee's cubby. The cubby is used to store extra sets of clothes or extra items brought in. Well, Jaycee's cubby was doubling as additionally drawing storage. Needless to stay, I had quite a stack to tote home and she clearly had increased production from the basic 2 a day to more like 5 a day.
Part of our daily post preschool wrap up is examining Jaycee's artwork and gaining insight into her inspiration. She likes to draw pictures of her family and we all have very specific characteristics. Brother is very small, Jayden has short hair, Jaycee is always in the middle of the page, mama is usually next to brother and has the longest hair. As for me, I generally look like a hispanic Shrek. I am the only one who is drawn exclusively with brown crayon while everyone else is a pink shade and I have a very large and round face. The funniest part about Jaycee's art is that she always remembers to "sign" it. Her signature is a squiggly line usually toward the bottom of the page. That's when it occurs to me that she is a real artist. She never lets her work go uncredited...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Working 8 to 5...

So I landed a new job. I'm working with the same company I did before, but now I am in an office at a desk with a phone and a computer. That may make it sound boring, but I actually enjoy the work. Without boring anyone with the details of my work, in short, this job offers me a great opportunity to learn and grow and is much more suited to my education.
I was chatting with Jaycee the other day and we were talking about my work. She knew what I used to do and I was trying to tell her I do a different kind of work. In summary, Jaycee thought that my job was to kick naughty kids out of the park and to clean toilets. When we finished our conversation I thought she had a pretty good grasp on what I do and I figured it would help that I no longer wear jeans and t shirts covered in paint and holes.
The other day I picked Jaycee up from preschool after work and we had to stop at the store on our way home. While we were waiting in line she asked me "Did you kick any kids out of the park today?" I tried to explain I don't do that anymore, but she insisted that if I wasn't doing it then there were naughty kids "all over the place". Then, as I come up to the register she asks "Did anyone poop on the floor at your work?" As if she were a part of the conversation, the checker slowed down and looked at me like she wanted to hear the answer to this question.
I let it hang in the air for a second trying to figure out the best way to answer this and decided on the truth: "No Jaycee, nobody pooped on the floor at my work today." I have to say, the checker seemed a little disappointed with my answer.
I just kind of laughed it off on the way to the car and didn't think too much about it. Later that night I was getting ready for bed and I thought about the conversation. It was only 2 1/2 years ago that I got a job scrubbing toilets to help ease the financial stresses of raising a family while going to school. Now, I have a degree and a pretty good job. My goals are not yet fulfilled and I have several more trying times ahead I'm sure, but more than anything I think about the many people out there looking for work and worrying about how to make ends meet. I am so fortunate for the opportunities that have been presented to me and plan on capitalizing on every single one that comes my way. It also helps when your 3 year old is always so eager to remind you where you come from. Thanks Jaycee, I needed that...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Watch what you say...

I refuse to address the fact that it has been a long time since my last blog. However, I do acknowledge that a lot has happened around here since my last post. I'll handle those things at a later date. In the mean time, I had a reminder the other day about how much little ears hear.
Luckily, this isn't a story about a four letter word that was repeated or about something detrimental to anyone, but it is still a reminder of what happens when a little one listens and connects the dots without help.
A couple of days ago, we went on our first family adventure to the Wild Animal Park. I never have cash on me these days. It seems like everywhere I go, I can use my debit card. Sometimes I encounter some relic that has not made the leap to accommodate cashless hipsters like myself. The Wild Animal Park has a merry-go-round near the entrance/exit and Jaycee always wants to go on it. It is 2 dollars that must be put in a machine that dispenses tokens. In other words, no cash no ride. When Jaycee asked I told her I didn't have any money and that next time I'd remember to bring cash. Unbeknownst to me, Jaycee filed this away.
Yesterday we were talking to Jaycee about next weekend. My new job is a Monday to Friday gig. With it being close to the holidays, there are parties and other events that I can attend on the weekends for clients. Next weekend I have the opportunity to go to one of these events, but it is the same day that Santa arrives for the annual pancake breakfast at the fire station. Casually, I asked Jaycee if she wanted me to to go with her to meet Santa or if I should go to work. She mulled the question over for a minute and to my surprise she said she wanted me to go to work. I asked Jaycee why she wanted me to go to work and she said: "So you can make money, then I can go on the merry-go-round at the Wild Animal Park".
The next time I go to the Wild Animal Park I'll be sure I have $6: 2 for Jayden's token, 2 for Jaycee's token and 2 for Jaycee's personality. Look out world, she's got it all figured out...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Joker...

As Jayden gets older (and bigger), a very interesting trait is emerging; she is a comedian! She is very aware of when you are laughing at what she is doing and she plays it up big time. She has coined her own comedic phrase: "BOW!" When she is feeling extra cheeky, she'll give a "BOW BOW!" Sometimes she does the "gorilla walk", which consists of her hunching her back and walking very slowly. She usually makes some sort of face while she does this and she thinks it is hilarious. The fact that she is so funny is not lost on her sister. Jaycee has decided that if you are funny and like to play around, you are a "Joker". When you ask her who is a Joker, she'll say dada is a joker, pa is a joker, and she is joker. Recently she has given Jayden joker status as well. She often tells us this and reminds us of who is not a joker.
Jayden is getting pretty good at entertaining, she is a one woman show. She dances, sings and does funny stuff. Occasionally she engages in dangerous humor. Her latest act consists of climbing the table behind the couch yelling "BYE" as she jumps over the back of the couch onto the cushions. She also has a new smile she has been working on (see above). When you ask her to smile, she gets squinty eyed and shows as many teeth as she can.
I wonder who she gets her comedic talents from... BOW BOW!!