16 July 2012

Fun Facts of the twins, By Wife


  What mom snaps a pic of her hysterical child instead of running to comfort him?  This mom.  Those moments (and literally, I mean 1 moment) of full fledged tears pops up fairly regular with Boy lately.  Whether it be stubbing his toe on a pillow (he is quite the tender foot) or not immediately having his entire lunch appear before his eyes the second he says, "Mommy, I hungry" we have been having "typical" 2 year old melt downs around here.  Luckily, "Mommy kiss it" seems to heal all wounds and a quickly sliced apple soothes him over and the face disappears and our regular, happy Lil'man reappears.
Other things that he is into these days include...

-growling like a lion or roaring like a dinosaur at all hours of the days

-saying, "I have present for you!" and making you open a huge imaginary ribbon tied box with either a heart, diamond or dinosaur inside

-having every single boo boo kissed by mommy or teenager and crying hysterically until the exact second that you kiss it, then all pain immediately disappears

-tormenting all bugs in the front and back yards

-watering the front yard and getting completely soaked in the process

-laughing out loud at Alex, Gloria and Melman from Madagascar

-lying like a sloth during diaper changes (a sloth who fake toots if someone-sissy-touches his head during the diaper change)

-making little Boys out of play dough

-holding up 1 finger (directly in front of his face) and saying, "Just 1 more" or "1 more minute" whenever I ask him to stop playing or that snack is over

-saying, "I'm tired" whenever he feels overwhelmed or is in trouble. We think it is his way of shutting down and not having to do something that he doesn't want to.  As soon as he does something to get in trouble (not listen, take a toy from Girl, etc) he immediately looks at us, says "I'm tired" and closes his eyes.

- "Where sissy go?  Where sissy go?"  This is the first thing Boy says literally every time he wakes up.  Whether it is from a nap or in the morning after a long night...Boy always calls out to find his sissy.  This little token of adoration is so dear to my heart because the bond this guy has with his sister is absolutely amazing.  

-Our little song writer.  Although you might now know it by looking at him..Boy is quite the lyricist.  He knows the words to tons of songs (Twinkle Twinkle, ABCs, Baa Baa Black Sheep (have you any wolf), We've been working on the railroad, Itsy Bitsy Spider..to name a few classics).  And he even comes up with his own songs...recent 'hits' include, The Dog Song, The Potty Song, and The Thomas Song.  All songs include only the title word sung over and over and over again with an adorable head bob.

-Boy throws pretty wicked fits.  There are certain times when he is completely unconsoleable.  It is really hard to deal with when nothing seems to calm him down, except time.  The triggers for this behavior vary and include (but are not limited to!) being tired, being hungry, having to transition (leave a friend's house, stop playing a game or heaven forbid turn off a Thomas movie), share a toy with Girl, and (most freqently) wake up from a nap.  This little charmer wakes up on the wrong side of the bed in the afternoon a couple of days a week and it is a bummer!

-Jumping!  Boy is now a full fledged jumper!  For the longest time he would get so excited to jump (off a step or balance beam), throw his arms in the air and then step off slowly.  He had no desire to have both feet off the ground at once.  Now, however, he has turned the corner.  He is a jumping fool.  He is not quite the dare devil that his sister is and will not jump from a height of more than two inches..but he can jump people.  Whoohoo!

-Bill Gates, watch your back!  We have a little 2 year old here who is rather savvy on the computer!  I got the kids a Disney themed toddler computer game.  Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Daisy and Goofy are teaching the kids' letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and sounds all through a very user-friendly (and remember the users are 2) computer game.  Boy picked up how to use a mouse on Day 1.  Seriously, it is impressive!

-Have you ever heard a 2 year old pray? Well, you should.  It might be the cutest thing you have ever seen in your life!  Every night after reading we say prayers.  It is always the same.  "Dear God, thank you for our family and friends (and we let the kids name whoever they can think of).  And keep daddy and his friends safe.  I love you, Amen"  Boy is quite the devout believer.  Every night he hustles off of the rocking chair and runs to kneel by his bed...it is adorable!  His little fingers clasped, his eyes shut tight, and speaking to God with his little 2 year old voice.  (I am teary eyed right now just thinking about it).

-At 2 years and 7 months I have to say that I am very impressed with Boy's compassion.  Yes, he is a typical 2 year old boy in many ways (tantrums, hitting his sister, not listening to mom!) but he is also so loving, especially to his sister.  All day I hear him say things like, "I love you sissy", "It's ok sissy", "I'm sorry sissy", "No hitting", "That's naughty".  Now in many of these instances, yes, he was the instigator...but he is very sweet and tries to rub sissy's back or give her a hug if she falls down and gets hurt.  The twin bond between the two of them is something that I will never fully understand not being a twin myself.  But, being able to witness their relationship everyday has truly blown my mind...their love for each other and need for each other is immense and fills my heart with joy!
I love you sweet prince!


-"I want to hold you."  Yup that is hands down my favorite sentence of Girl's!  What she means is, "I want to hug you" but how cute is her way of saying it?  Everynight (and at nap) she opens her arms wide and says with such love, "I want to hold you".  She wraps her scrawny arms around your next and tight as she can and is so content...it is truly heartwarming.  

-Octomom!  Our littlest Octomom.  Girl is rather maternal (except when it involves the new baby).  She loves her baby dolls, loves her teddy bears, and LOVES her loveys.  Anytime of day you can find her pushing a baby in a stroller.  Putting a lovey on the doll playmat, or tucking a teddy bear to sleep in the doll crib.  She likes to sleep with (let's count, shall we?) pink lovey, blue lovey, pink lovey's blanket, blue lovey's blanket, blue Mickey, pink Minnie, red bear and yellow bear. Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8...yup Octomom.  Luckily for us, she is content to sleep with just one and bedtime is not a total night mare if we are missing anyone;)

-I like to move it, move it.  Baby baby baby.  Heartbreaker.  These are three of Girl's favorite songs to dance to.  And when I say favorite, I mean OMG, that's my song, choreographer dance moves favorite!  Girl is a dancing fool!  She LOVES music, dancing and shaking her teeny booty.  She also loves shaking her head and watching her hair wave from side to side.  She definitely has better moves that her mama and I foresee her giving her daddy (a very well renowned dance master in his day) a run for his money soon...very soon!

-25 pounds and counting.  Coming into the middle of her second year, Girl is weighting in at just over 25 pounds.  The littlest ________ continues to have a little appetite...but she is actually eating more lately.  Current faves include (but are not limited to) broccoli, carrots, blueberries, cereal, pancakes and waffles with peanut butter and syrup (yum!), oatmeal, noodles, mac n cheese, rice, pb and raisin roll ups, chicken, tacos, burritos, beans, chili, oranges, pears, pineapple, cinnamon apples, grilled cheese and tomato soup, yogurt, cottage cheese, MILK, and unfortunately sweets.  She seems to have inherited her father's love for all things chocolate or sugary sweet.  This apple does not fall far from the tree...

-I was thinking of getting an old school bus and painting it in bold blocks of color.  Seriously the Partridge Family totally had the right idea...a traveling all family band, I dig it!  This girl is a singing sensation.  We have one cd in the car...I know, what am I doing listening to 1 kids; cd all day every day?!?  Well, giving voice and memory lessons to my two years olds I guess.  Girl requests her favorites song all the time.  She tells me which songs she, "I no want! I no want!"  and she knows ALL the words.  Yes, ALL of them.  It is amazing!  Current faves include Bee Song, John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt (I have to get that on video...it is a tongue twister for sure!), Itsy Bitsy Spider, Uncle Song, and Wheels on the Bus.

-Night owl and early bird..not exactly the combo you cross your fingers for.  This little tyke prefers to stay up late and wake with (or before!) the sun.  Bedtime is 8pm and Girl is ok with that...however I doubt that she rolls over and is asleep instantly.  Truth be told she can be heard outside the door telling stories to her loveys or replaying the day's event (in detail) with her bears.  Then, at least 6 days out of 7, Girl is the first one awake.  For a brief stint there, she would wake up screaming...that fizzled thank goodness.  Now she walks into our room quietly and either prances around looking for something interesting to do or comes to the side of our bed and says, "Good morning! I need milk!"

-The Boss.  Girl, how shall I say this?, likes to be in charge.  Today we had our friend Andrew over and Boy and Andrew were contentedly riding push cars in the back yard.  Girl could be heard yelling, "Boys, boys!" "Boys, no!"  "No riding to fast!  Back up!  Slow down! Stop! Stop!"  "Boys!"  It is a riot.  She does it all the time with Boy and if raising a toddler doesn't give a mirror into your own personality, I don't know what will.  Girl gets down on her knees and says to Boy in a stern tone, "Boy, stop.  Look at me.  Listen to Sissy."  Hmmm, where could she have heard that before?

-At my recent toddlers' class (a class about how to parent toddlers, not a learning institute for a 2 year old crowd) I descibed Girl as a teenager in a 25 pound body.  The way Girl looks and you when you talk and her facial expressions when she observes other people really makes me think that she is taking it all in...all of it.  Way too much for a 2 year old.  She understands negotiating and she can be (although not always) very empathetic and understanding in new situations.  Also, honestly, whenever Boy is having one of his total meltdown modes Girl swoops in and is totally independent.  She either watches him calmly and gives him space or does what needs to be done.  The other day she got herself completely dressed (I mean completely, from taking off her pjs to getting on here whole outfit, shoes and socks and being ready to go while Boy was throwing a huge fit!).  I am so excited to see where the rest of this year takes up with her emotional growth and continued verbal abilities...I foresee some very interesting conversations in the coming months. Also, I'm not trying to say she is some savant...she definitely has her toddler traits (and tantrums and fits of her own), but sometime she just 'gets it' and seems extremely mature to me.

I love you little biscuit.
Our Tiny Dancer:

13 July 2012


So, a friend has asked me about disciplining kids/preteens.
I was a bit of a troublemaker (Yes, this perfect angel was a troublemaker in their younger days :O ) growing up, so I figured I could help them out.

Kids these days have a preconceived notion of entitlement.  Sometimes its learned from society, sometimes from their upbringing.
I was brought up nomadically, with my dad, and therefore had few possessions when I was really young.  Coming to live with my parents, I had my own room, my own bed, my own stuff.
I got a little self-entitled at some point.

My parents solution to the problem was a simple one.
When grounding and other punishments didn't work.  Yelling and swatting didn't work.  Extra chores, and limited activities didn't work.  They did something drastic:

They took everything out of my room, minus my mattress and dresser.  They left me with 5 pairs of jeans, 5 pairs of socks/underwear/undershirts, 4 button-up shirts, and a church shirt.  Two pairs of shoes (sneakers and work boots) and a comb for my hair.
They took my door as well.

For every day I did my chores, homework, and didn't pitch an attitude, I got one item back.
For every time I went out of my way to be good, I could get another item back.
Every time I did something wrong (defiance, not doing chores, not doing homework, tantrum..... I could get as many as 5 things taken away that day)
My parents didn't add more chores to my list, because living on a small farm, I had plenty of them.  And homework.

I resisted, and even got my bed taken away.... sleeping bags on a hardwood floor are quick motivators.
And it definitely made me more calculated in my decision making.
It took me 1 week to earn back my matress
It took me 2 weeks to get my bedframe back.
It took me a month to get my "nice" clothes back (the ones I preferred to wear to school)
It took me 4 months to get my door back.

I definitely had a greater appreciation for my privileges.

09 July 2012



Someone is upset with Wife (and me, by proxy) for our parenting decision.
I can't make a blog out of this, since I'm at work right now (its blocked at work) so I may just copy/paste this later, if I remember....

Even with all their (Boy's) health issues throughout his life, we have still been very conscious about making sure they get all of their immunizations. Within the timeframe. I have gone to all the Y8 (immunizations) classes, I know more about these shots than most people (combined) know in a lifetime.

I gave over 7,000 flu shots this season. I've given 1000s of Anthrax, Hep A/B/A&B, Typhoid, MMR shots.
I have, NOT ONCE, had a patient have an adverse reaction (aside from one guy who passed out....he didn't like needles).

I also know that some people CANNOT get certain shots, which is why it is so important for everyone who CAN to get those shots..... to minimize the chances of that person encountering the disease. Our society is only protected when enough people get immunized to prevent the spread, should one person get it.

That is why schools REQUIRE shots. Because they are large gathering places, where disease spreads quickly. During the 2002-2003 flu season the vaccine didn't keep up with the morphology of the virus. School attendance was down 40%

Then, we have people who are knowingly and negligently avoiding the shots. Sure, you can dictate that you'd prefer your child die from a systematic infection that kills each of their vital organs, slowly and painfully, before finally, mercifully, killing them...
....but you can't blame me for not allowing you around my child.
I would rather my child suffer Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome or a day of minor discomfort (a noted reaction possible with shots) than be crippled/killed by preventable diseases like Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Whooping Cough, Tetanus, Tuberculosis, Polio, Influenza, Typhoid, or anything else so easily preventable.

So... It is our perrogative as parents to dictate who our children interact with. And we decided that if you don't immunize your kid, your kid WILL NOT have playdates and such with our kids. Final answer.
My wife is pregnant, my son is immuno-compromised, my mom is immuno-compromised.

Even still, I don't need them as a reason. Its a matter of principle.
When a majority of your friends have infants and new borns, what makes you think its acceptable to parade your unimmunized kids through their lives, putting everyone at risk?
Yeah, sorry we are a detriment to your kid's need for socialization.... Your kid is a detriment to our survival....

If you don't like what I've had to say, you can disagree all you want (keep it respectful, it is my page, so my opinion comes with the territory). But if you are going to attack me:

1. keep it to yourself
2. the "unlike" button is just a click away
3. Prepare to be banned

Whooping cough has been on the rise in preteens and teens. In 2009, a quarter of the 16,858 cases of pertussis reported in the United States were among 10- through 19-year-olds.
Whooping Cough


Pneumonia caused by exposure to preventable disease







effects of  Rubella on the baby of pregnant victims 




08 July 2012

Ancora Impartial: What Autistic Looks Like

Rebel Souls and Reinventing Mommy are collecting posts for What Autistic Looks Like in response to 50 cent's offensive tweets "you look autistic, fool" and "I don't want special ed kids on my timeline, go follow someone else".

What does autism look like?  Thats a damn good question.
When I look in the mirror, I see someone who looks like most everyone else.... though better looking.
When I signed up to fight for my country, they saw no difference in me, than any other soldier.  Yes, I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and yes, I do sometimes lose my cool (have a meltdown), but years of dealing with people like YOU (50 cent) had taught me that it wasn't okay to show my flaws.
I hid them, and did it pretty well, for years.  And now it has come full circle.
I had graduated an advance program at my high school.
I had early acceptance into college.
I got a degree in english, and went on to law school.
I was in Special Education classes the entire time!
I served my country, 2002-2003, for 18mo in Iraq as a medic.
I practiced law for a corporation in Illinois.
I came back into the Army, as an officer, a leader, in 2009.
I married my amazing wife the same year.
And my twins were born to ring in the new year.
I have thrived.
And I have autism.

My son is being evaluated for autism.
He was born premature.
Intubated so he could breathe.
Had heart surgery in his first week of life.
Was given slim chances of survival.
He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
We were told he may never walk or run.
And he came through, as a strong and amazing little guy.
He is 2.5yrs old now.
He walks.
He runs.
He speaks.
He loves and is loved.
He is even learning how to read.
He has thrived.

Just your average kid

Could you pick our Autism out of a crowd?
Does he look "retarded" or "special ed" to you?

I train medics to save lives
My soldiers don't seem to view my leadership any different.

And all my soldiers trust me, wholeheartedly with their lives....

....and your freedom.

So, asshole....think twice about who you talk crap about.
I've got all my friends and over 2,000 soldiers who've got my back...
...what about you?
And maybe, when you've done something real with your life, just maybe, your opinion will matter.