Friday, June 29, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012


We got home about 15 minutes ago from our 3-day Virginia excursion. About an hour into the ride, while driving about 60 mph, we hit a bear. I guess he miscalculated... thinking that he could beat us across the road with his best sprint. Now I truly know the meaning of the phrase, "it happened so fast." Yet it somehow still felt like a lifetime between initial sighting and collision, and another eon between contact and the end of the whole ordeal. My mental picture of it all is far more vivid then I'd like it to be. And I'm looking forward to my brain not feeling the need to replay it for me every 3 minutes like an ESPN highlight. I see that bear (rolling) in my head more clearly than reality probably dictates (did I really see his face?). I guess the most important thing is that our entire family is fine. No major injuries. The van will need some work. And the most agonizing part is not knowing the fate of the bear (dead? fatally wounded? or defiant of the laws of both nature and physics), not to mention the travelers behind us that may have found him in the road.

I can't say that I've ever sat down to write a list of my "top ten most traumatic life experiences"... But if I did... I'm thinking that this would crack the top five pretty easily. Maybe I'll feel differently in the morning. Anyhow, I thank God for the safety of my family. And I hope that a few hours of sleep and the passage of time will help to shake the icky I think I killed something feeling that almost ate me alive as we drove away from it all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Naomi pt. XII

The ability (and desire) to communicate is probably the biggest thing that has changed since Naomi Janelle's last update. She's consistently responsive to a handful of words (besito, no, come here, mas, bye bye; to name a few) and has a clear interest in communicating back to you; though it mostly comes out in a sequence of noises, squeals, and grunts. To listen to her and Jasmine go back and forth across the room after "lights out" each evening is almost a heartbreaker. As they talk and laugh themselves to sleep, I'm reminded that Naomi is closer to being "one of the them" than she is to being an infant. I almost can't even remember the newborn stage already. Depressing. It happens so quickly.

The other major change is probably her diet (or should I say, the lack thereof). Venesa may be, but I'm not quite ready to give up baby food. It's simply too convenient. It's hard to beat popping open a can of food and being able to announce that dinner is served. But then it's also getting harder to deny the fact that she is ready for a permanent seat at the big table. She has already abandoned baby utensils for silverware, traded bottles for a sippy cup, will scan the entire room for better options before agreeing to eat jarred food, and has recently proven that there is no limit to how much spaghetti a 10-month old can eat in one sitting. But I'm just not ready to let go. So there, it's final. That is... Until I get the bill for the next batch of jarred baby foods. Then we'll talk again.

Oh... and one more thing to document: She LOVES to dance. She's got a side-to-side wiggle move that she's had since about 5 months that we call the Nao. At first, it was exclusive to the highchair, and so for weeks I was convinced that she was just trying to scratch her back. But then she broke loose and started doing it everywhere. She'll dance while she eats. And if it's good, she'll dance when she's done. She'll dance to anything from a song on the radio to tapped fingers on a tabletop. She'll dance to daddy's beatbox, or mommy humming a tune. She'll dance to just about anything. And applaud for herself when she's done. And if she was the first born, I'd have a great video of it to show you. But, she's #3... and so you'll just have to take my word for it. Sorry.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vacation Bible School

This post was supposed to be about Justin's experience as he completed his marathon run of vacation bible school programs (3 different programs in 2 weeks... one of which Jasmine attended as well). It was supposed to be a sappy read about how different his childhood experiences have been compared to my own. Or I could've gone a different route and shared Venesa's thoughts on going from homeschooling to sending two kids to school for a week (the drop off, the pick up, and when 3 hours of free time inevitably feels likes 20 minutes). But no... on the last day of VBS, during the end-of-week celebration, Justin and Jasmine decided to give me something much more interesting to write about: church brawls.

So picture this: Full assembly. All of the kids who attended this particular VBS are on stage with matching t-shirts, singing songs and performing skits. The audience is full of proud parents and clicking cameras. Justin and Jasmine are seated together on stage in the front row... for 30 minutes (strike one)... with no direct supervision (strike two).. and essentially nothing to do since they barely know the words to most of the songs (strike three). Enter disaster, stage left. Justin takes off his hawaiian lay. Jasmine offers to help put it back on. Gimme. No. Don't touch me. Put it on! Leave me alone. Push. Shove. Shove. Push. Punch. A flurry of slaps. Yes, they're fighting. Center stage. While the other (sane) children sing.  I'm in shock. Frozen. Mortified. Yep. Those are our kids, ladies and gentlemen: reenacting the highlights of the last Tyson-Holyfield boxing match for your entertainment. 

A million thoughts flood my head. Do I rush the stage and drag them out by their ears? Do I just wait it out? Which will cause a bigger scene; me escorting Push and Shove Reyes towards a prompt exit, or one throwing the other clear off the stage before I get there? Before I could make a decision, Justin grabs Jasmine in his most ferocious bear hug (which, of course is not very ferocious at all), squeezes the air out of her 20 pound frame as if to say, stop the violence! ... He lets her go... and they both turn and face the audience and jump right in on the final stanza of a song entitled (what else?) Friendship. Song ends. They sit down as if nothing ever happened. 

The longest 14 seconds of my life. 

First thing Monday morning, I'm putting them both up for adoption.

Follow the link for VBS photos from Emmanuel Baptist Church.