Monday, June 30, 2008

These Are My Martians

Somebody asked me, "Why Martian Mom?" My response, "Did you ever hear, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?" "Well if that is in fact true then I live with a household of Martians ( 3 boys and a hubby), making me the 'Martian Mom' " There you have it, it's as simple as that....and here are my Martians, Max (hubby), Miles (twin A), Liam ( Twin B) and Aidan ( my oldest soon to be 4)

Life has it's ups and downs with a house full of Martians, and the truth is we don't always get along. I have a feeling that's going to become a bit more challenging as the boys get older. We already have the struggles over toys, being first for their cup of milk, struggles for books, bath time, and food/snacks. And of course there is the struggle between Venus and Mars on parenting techinques, appropriate discplining, what is punishment worthy, what punishment fits the crime, what time should bedtime be, and even silly stuff like what should their haircut look like, sweater vs. sweatshirt, and warm pj vs. cooler pj. Sometimes the small stuff seems really big and sometimes the big stuff really is Big. What's most scariest to me, is that somehow through all these struggles, we need to make sure not to screw up those little Martians.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dinner Time

The twins are 20 months now and have recently started feeding themselves. I know what you're thinking just now. I have to say I'm ( or we're , hubby too) guilty of having fed them and not allowed them to experiment with self feeding for much too long. You know there's less to clean up that way and I guess I just found it to be overall easier. Unfortunately they had to start demanding the fork and spoon before I actually handed it over to them. Needless to say, they're doing a pretty good job, yeah we have spills and throwing but overall it's not too bad. They're growing up so fast.

They were enjoying the salsa verde pork roast I made....and of course Aidan (the picky eater) was having a grilled cheese. I'm trying not to be the short order cook anymore. He usually has to eat what we're having but today, fortunatley for him, there was a left over grilled cheese from lunch time. Oh, and for your information, Daddy decided to take him for a supercuts haircut after soccer practice today;. It's absolutely terrible, you might as well have put a bowl on his head. Poor guy, I made sure to let him know how handsome I thought he was regardless of the haircut.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Liam - The Beaver

Liam has the longest teeth ever. I'm really not sure where he got those teeth from. I used to think it was just me who thought he had long teeth, that maybe my other kids had small teeth making Liam's teeth look long. But apparently not. Everyone seems to notice and those who either know us well enough to comment or are just plain bold enough to say somthing, do. He's been called beaver, rabbit, bunny, or as my dad said, "conejito" (little bunny in spanish). Max and I have been know to call him "the beaver". Once the rest of his teeth come in it may not be as noticeable but right now those two lone bottom teeth just look exceptionally long.

School age kids can be cruel. Somtimes I start thinking about what might be in the future, and I wonder if he's going to be the subject of ridicule in school. My heart just breaks for him and then I remember as Karen ( my bestfriend) once said...don't worry about him, "Liam thinks he's the bomb" . This makes me laugh because I think she's right about this, Liam thinks he's "IT".

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Miles Cries

Let me start with still no photos. Really lagging on this, hopefully soon.

Miles cries...all the time. I just don't get him somtimes. He cries when he sees me and clings on to me as if I'm leaving. He cries when folks show up, like Irene who's been with us forever, or Shoshana our neighbor. I could see crying with strangers but he cries with folks we know well. He somtimes cries when he sees Liam approaching him. He cries when Liam takes somthing from him or if he thinks Liam might want something from him. He sometimes cries in the morning when he wakes up, cries during naps, he just cries. He's always been such a happy sweet baby so it surprises me now that he cries so much with little to instigate it. He cries at play groups, he cries at music class, he cries. I'm sure it's just a phase....but he cries. Wish I had a photo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Play Group at Our House

Today our Wednesday twin play group met at our house. When we go to other houses for the group my twins always freak out for about the first 30 minutes and at some point they get comfortable and start to play. When it's at our house I would expect it to be different, since they are in their own element. But, for some reason it's the same ol' story...freak out for awhile, Miles crying and clinging to me, Liam throwing himself on the floor and banging his head on the floor. Yeah, it's as dramatic as it sounds. I keep telling myself (and them) one day the group is going to ask us not to come any more, when they've finally had it with the drama.

After the drama was over, there was some playing to be had. All the kids played and kept themselves entertained, long enough for moms ( Leslie, Erin, and I) to chat for a bit. It was nice to get to know them a bit more and just having that adult contact. The twins are starting daycare 2 xwk next week, I made sure the days would not be Wed so it wouldn't interfere with this group.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Preparing for Change

Irene our helper/nanny came today. The twins really love her. They just light up when they see her especially Liam. I'm sorry to say our time with her is coming to an end. In July the twins will start at Rocio's daycare 2 xwk. We decided they would benefit from the social interaction with other children and it's actually cheaper too... that's always a plus. I am a little anxious about how they will do at Rocio's. I've been taking them to visit for a couple of hours at a time for the past couple of weeks so they can get familiar with the place and people, my attempts to reduce the trauma of being dropped off their for a good part of the day. I also worry about them missing Irene. She's been with us since they were 8 weeks old. She's been really fabulous with them and it's obvious that they have come to love her. I hope/plan to remain in contact with her to maintain some sort of relationship for the twins. Haven't quite sure how I'm going ot manage this yet. All I know is that we are all going to miss her.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Picky Eater

Mealtimes are so difficult in our house. The twins throw food around which is frustrating but we are slowly getting a handle on it. More frustrating is Aidan the picky eater. It's hard for me to complain because I too am an extremely picky eater. Now I have a better understanding of what I put my parents through. He is on this white food diet, bread, cheese, noodles, and he's added a few other things however they aren't so healthy, hotdogs, pizza, beef, chicken nuggets. He refuses to eat veggies and most fruits. I don't like to force him to eat anything, being a pocky eater myself, I understand how awful it is to be forced to try somthing. I try to explain to him that he can spit anything out he doesn't like but to please just take one bite before he decides he doesn't like it. This is coming from someone who has never eaten a strawberry, peach, tomatoe and many, many other things. Of course he refuses that one bite. Here's what even more difficult is that daddy and mommy do not agree on this issue. Daddy will take a hard stance and tell him he can't leave the table until he tries whatever it might be that's on his plate. Of course I don't agree with this techique and I fear it's going to give him food issues or being as stuborn as Aidan is that he's going to dig his heels in even more. I would rather take the softer approach and wait for him to come around. I don't know what the right answer is but what I do know is, one of the biggest challenges in parenting is when mommy and daddy don't agree on somthing.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Boys and Markers

Today I rolled out a piece of butcher paper on the dining room table and set out some markers. The boys all sat at the table and with some help from Daddy and Mommy they played with the markers for at least 30 minutes. When that started to loose their interest I brought out a roll of Diego stickers which bought us about another 15 minutes of entertainment. It was so great to have all the kids engaged in the same activity. It's a small glimpse of what we have to look forward to in the near future. Usually it's been really challenging to entertain Aidan while entertaining the twins. Developmentally their needs are so different that it's always been this juggling act to make sure the twins are safe and having fun while Aidan is also being entertained. Toys that Aidan enjoys right now pose a choke hazard to the twins, or art and craft projects Aidan can and would like to do are still to difficult for the twins, a dvd that Aidan would like to watch is not appropriate or engaging for the twins, etc. etc, etc. this has been so exhausting. So for Max and I it was soo exciting to be able to get them to participate in an activity together that of course we tried to milk it for as long as possible, and of course we pulled out the camera and took photos of this fabulous new milestone ( photos later).

Technically Saturday's Entry: Trying to keep up

I'm not going to kid you, keeping up with a blog is hard work. Going to do my best to keep up...and soon, I promise myself to begin adding photos. What's a blog without photos?

Today I went to the annual Mill Valley store clearance sale. It might as well have been a TBB (twins by the bay) event. There were so many twin moms there. It was definitely a mob scene but I managed to score quite a few great fall clothes items for all 3 boys. So stay tuned for some photos of my boys in some styling clothes this fall, lol! I have to say I'm pretty excited about it all.

Max had the boys while I was out on my shopping excursion today. They went to Aidan's soccer practice and then hung out at dreamland park. Max said everything went smooth. That's good news for me. I always feel anxious about leaving all 3 boys with Max . Not that I think he can't handle it, because I know he can, but I hate for Max to have to handle it after a week of work at his full time job. But, it is good for the boys to have some alone daddy time., I know they all love it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just Can't Predict....

The twins went for a 2 hour trial at daycare this afternoon. I had predicted that Liam would be an absolute mess and through one of his dramatic tantrums. To my surprise, Liam was fine, he snacked, drank water, and played. It was Miles who cried the entire 2 hours, refused to all snacks and drinks and refused to move. We did not expect that at all since Miles is so often the easy going one. When we picked them up, Miles gave me this pitiful look and burst out into more tears. If he could speak, he'd probably say, "This is so not ok!" It just broke my heart to see him like that. Liam, seem to say " Hi there. Nice to see you back" Just goes to show you, you just can't predict what's going to happen. Just when you think you've got them figured out, they throw you a curve ball.

On another note, poor Miles is also teething horribly. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now. His gums are so swollen, he's just miserable. It's been such a slow process for him. I don't remember it being that slow for Aidan And, we haven't even begun with Liam. I'll be happy when all the teething is done with. I was a late teether, and all the kids have been late teethers. Aidan didn't get his first tooth til he was 13 months old and the twins got their first tooth at 12 months old. More sleepless nights to come, like I said can't wait for it to end.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Amazment or Pity?? and A First For the Twins: Markers.

It was a hot day today here in Oakland. Hot days are unbearable at the Rocha house. Even though we installed attic fans last summer and insulated the house, the temps still seem to rise inside pretty quickly. On days like this I usually take the boys out to air conditioned place to hang out and cool off for a bit, Barnes & Noble, Target etc. Tonight was Target. I dreaded going by myself with the 3 boys but surprisingly they did well. The twins were in the double stroller while Aidan hung out beside me with the rule that he had to keep one hand on the stroller handle. He did really well tonight, with the help of a bribe of course. We walked out with animal crackers and a hot wheels car. I know bribery isn't the best parenting method, but it works.

It's funny how people stare when we're out. I'm not sure if it's stares of pity "that poor woman with those 3 young kids" or amazement " wow look at that woman with those 3 young kids, how does she do it?" I'd like to think amazement but somehow I really think it's pity. And, it's amazing how people just can't seem to help themselves from remarking "wow twins" If I had a dollar for everytime I've heard that, I would be a millionare right now.

Twins had a first I set them up in their highchairs and taped construction paper down on the trays and gave them each washable markers. They absolutely loved it and it bought me about 45 minutes of entertainment and another 45 minutes for clean up. Definitely will be an activity to be repeated.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Long Day For this Loser Parent

It's been a long day. Took the twins to a play group in Orinda today. I had a great time socializing with the moms, that is after the boys stopped clinging to me. This happens every time for the first 30 -45 minutes. I look forward to the day we show up and they go straight to play.

In the mean time, I seem to think I enjoy the play groups much more than the twins. I feel very fortunate to have hooked up with this great bunch of women ( not just saying this cause I think one day they might read this lol!) It's true, they are all very different yet we seem to click really well. I appreciate my conversations with them. They all are really intelligent and I seem to always get great feedback from them. Rachel has helped immensily (sp?) with my disciplining slash time outs, Susan has been great to talk about food for the children, Ebba is always filled with some helpful knowledge and facts and I enjoy talking crafts with her, Monika I'm just getting to know but I really like her style and way of being ( I can tell she's going to be lots of fun) and there's other but I haven't quite gotten to know them yet.

Let's fast forward now to why I'm a loser, Poor Aidan, has 2 staples in his head right now...did I give him tylenol this morning before sending him off to school, NO. Did I even consider that he might be in pain, No. If I had 2 staples in my head, would I be taking Tylenol or Motrin right now, YES. When he had a huge meltdown this afternoon before dinner, di dI consider he might be in pain or discomfort, NO. My neighbor came over because she heard the screaming and yelling (Aidan having an out of control tantrum) and thought I could use some help. After telling her I don't know what got into him, She's the one who asked me about coudld he be having some discomfort, somthing going on and this is displaced stress...Bingo. It finally dawned on me. "Aidan, are you feeling ok?" Aidan , "No mommy can you help me feel better" Oh what a loser am I "Aidan is somthing hurting or bothering you" Aidan, "Yes, mommy my head hurts" Well no shit, he had an injury resulting in staples and nobody ( being mom or dad) had even considered medicating him for pain....would you call me LOSER under things circumstances. So I gave him some Tylenol, and held him on my lap for a bit., while my neighbor, Shoshana fed the twins dinner. (Max was out with a friend for dinner)
Well of course I've given my psyche a good beating and I'm now emotionally and physically exhausted. Note to self: don't ever let this happen again!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Injury = Treats

11:30 am: phone rings, caller ID says Chatham Preschool. My first thought, "Now why could they be calling me, what did I forget?" I answer, and the conversation is as follows:
me: Hello
Mrs. Tina: Hello is this Aidan's mom?
me: yes it is
Mrs. Tina : Aidan had an accident, he's crying right now. He has a cut on the back of his head the size of a fingernail and it's bleeding.
me: Is it bad? (duh?)
Mrs. Tina: Well you need to see it.
me: I haven't gotten dressed yet and I have a dentist appt this afternoon ( I know your thinkng right now, what an idiot)
Mrs. Tina: Well it's our policy to advise you of his injuries, and he's bleeding.
me:OK I'll be there in 1/2 an hour
Mrs. Tina: ok
I frantically take a quick and much needed shower, throw somthing on, grab Aidan's medical record book, a bottle of children's Tylenol, and quickly head over to Chatham in record time. All this in about 15 minutes, tops.
I walk in, Aidan is sitting at one of the lunch tables, looking quite pathetic I might add. I walk over, realize his head and shirt are stiff with blood. I take a look an the wound, which is dime size but deep. I look up at Mrs. Tina, feeling very foolish now for my earlier hesitation, and tell her I'm going to step out for a couple of phone calls. I call his doctor, they schedule me in for 2:15. I call dentist, they schedule me in for Sept (I arghhh it's now June). I go back in, give Aidan a dose of Tylenol and we leave. Of course I thanked Mrs. Tina for all her help on my way out.

Now I'm feeling like a complete idiot and guilty for having considered that they might be overreacting and I not need come in at all. What is my response to this? Well since we have an hour and 1/2 before the appt and the office is 2o minutes away. We first go to the nearest shopping center, TJMaxx, where out of guilt I buy him a set of kids binoculars, a Thomas Train Pinball machine.

Appt. Time: Aidan gets 2 staples put in his head. I have to tell you he was the bravest little boy ever. Not a single tear, just a tight grip on mommy's arm and a squeal "owww"

OK now I feel even more guilty so what do I do. We stop at the Sweet Dreams Toy store where I proceed to buy him a police car, then to StarBucks where I buy him a chocolate milk (somthing we never indulge him in.

What must he think...injuries equals a fabulous afternoon of great treats. What good can come out of this?? Time to reevaluate how to handle injuries. Of course I feel bad, but I obviously did not have to overcompensate with all the treats. Would really just like to go dig a hole somewhere and put my head in it. These mom lessons sure are tough.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Potty Training...could it really be possible?

I belong to a twin play group that gets together every Wed and also have a email circle where questions and ideas or whatever are posted. Let me start with saying, this is a group of fabulous moms that have inspired me in so many ways. Things I have learned from them including eating habits, time out methods, sleeping and bed time routines. But, today a very daunting subject has come to light...the dreaded "Potty Training". When I read this email, my heart beat quickened and my vision blurred. My mind wandered to visions of my boys with there hands in the toilet and you fill in the rest. Could my 19 month old twins possibly be ready? Apparently there is a book out "Diaper Free Before Three" that is the culprit here. So I ask, does this include boys too? More to come...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Martian Mom Chronicles: the beginning

Well, as I'm not sure what kind of fluff I will fill this blog with, I have wanted for so long to have a blog. Emulate those many blogging moms I have so admired, reading their blogs to the wee hours of the night (regretting it in the morning of course) and saying to myself I so want to be part of this. So, today is my birthday, let's not forget father's day too, and the beginning of my martian mom chronicles. My plan is to chronicle all the remember worthy happenings of my moments with my 3 boys, husband, and of course my dear hobbies crafting and thrifting.

My life sometimes is a bit crazy and out of control, as I often over do it on the multitasking. I sometimes think I'm supermom but definitely much to often fail miserably. So hopefully this isn't one more crazy task I'm trying to add to my already more than busy life.

Well my birthday was pleasant as I shared the festivities with my hubby, Max. Surely I didn't want to cheat him out of Father's day. Max was presented with a grilling cookbook, some grilling tools and a too small penguin brand shirt from the boys, Aidan soon to be 4 and 19 month old twins Miles and Liam. I was in a panic the friday before, trying to come up with the right gifts. Somehow I manage to pull it off, phew. Aidan of course told daddy "open the presents daddy, lets see what you got"

We had planned on a nice brunch out but of course were not able to pull the crew together early enough then feared we would be faced with too big of crowds. Somthing we have learned to avoid with 3 kids under 4. So we opted for a picnic at the zoo followed with a nice dinner at home, prepared by Max. The grill master provided us with ribeye steaks, grilled corn and bread, very low key yet pleasing. Most pleasing is that Aidan has begun to eat beef. The best gift of all today, I didn't have to spend dinner spinning my wheels trying to figure out what to feed Aidan. He's now added beef to his white food diet. A move in the right direction. Well there'll be more about that in the future as I have also vowed to stop being a short order cook for my kids.

And the night has ended with a carrot cake, putting the boys to bed, and now beginning this blog. Here's the start, next I'll have to figure out how to load picture on. If anything, I do hope one day my boys will have somthing amusing to read and remind them of their childhood escapades.

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