Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wifeless in Phoenix

Hi friends and family,

The title of wifeless in Phoenix is a play on the old movie, Sleepless in Seattle.  Kendra is in New York City for 4 days of child-less adventures.  I'm home with the twins and proudly report the house didn't burn down!  We are having a blast together.  We had a few meltdowns. By "we" I mean Layla.  The biggest success of the week is how my patience has been deeper than the ocean and wider than the smile on my face when Kendra arrives home tomorrow night.  

We hit triple digits, 100 degrees, in Phoenix this week.  Although it's not a record, it was way above normal.  The benefit to the heat is an early opening of the Webb pool.  The water temp is 81 degrees, but Easton and Layla are so spoiled living in Phoenix that they shivered a little now and then.  I'm starting to sound like an old man when I say, "when I was your age all we had was a muddy pond...  and it was cold...  all year long!"  as if their 4-year-old minds can possibly comprehend that.  

I didn't just supervise either.  I joined in their water gun-toting, noodle-slapping playtime.

In order to get them revved up for the pool we took a morning hike to the second peak of South Mountain.   Nobody cried and nobody bled.  That's a successful hike at this stage.  They begged me to carry them after climbing so much altitude, but I assured them the hike down was not nearly as difficult.  They agreed to give it a try and just as I promised it was a breeze to jog down.

On another pool day we were blessed with a new face or two around our house.  Aiden and his dad, Matt.  Aiden is 7, but the age gap was not an issue when it came to swimming and play time with the twins.  He is their new super hero and favorite playmate.  

We joined them for a tasty dinner at Macayo's. It turned out to be a great restaurant for 3 rambunctious kids because it was so loud we blended right in.

Here's a picture I don't think I posted from when Ouma and Oupa visited.  Every time we pass a golf course the twins say, "Oupa plays golf.  Remember when he teached me how to play?"  Easton was excited to get a lesson from Oupa.  I'm excited because the next Master's champion may be sleeping down the hall from me as we speak.

With Kendra out of town I had to figure out how to turn the stove on and run the dish washer.  We've lived here for 6 months and this was the first time I used either one.  That is so sad and I'm embarrassed to even admit how well Kendra takes care of us.  If you're spoiled and you know it clap your hands...  (clap, clap).

We wore hats the past few days because I like to keep the sun off their faces as much as possible.  While we waited for the car to roll through the wash they wanted to trade hats and laugh at ourselves in the window's reflection.  Why not?

I'm actively teaching Easton and Layla two specific concepts and finally have a way to explain what and why:

1.  Avoid abandonment.  If we are out somewhere and it's time to go I never, ever, ever say, "OK I'm going to leave you."  This is intentional parenting because I don't want Easton or Layla to feel abandonment.  Instead, I say, "OK, we are leaving together.  Say good-bye to (fill in the blank)."  One of the greatest fears of a child is being left behind or getting lost.  I want Easton and Layla to know I will never leave them and I'll always be there for them.  Using words like never and always should be used sparingly.  Our society doesn't retain the value because they are over-used.  When it comes to abandonment, I want the always and never words to be useful.

2.  Gift vs. Good consequence.  I want them to understand what is a gift and what is a good consequence.  When I give them something where they have done nothing to merit it, I make sure they know it is a gift:  something I choose to give them because I love them and for no other reason.  A good consequence, such as the toy they get when their fuzzy jar is filled, is a reward for obedience.  When they obey they get good consequences, but a gift is unearned.  Explaining this to them early will help understand God.  I'm building their stepping stones of life one pebble at a time.

I can't believe that just happened...  As I was writing this at midnight I heard Easton calling for me.  He said the two words I despise more than any other:  "I puked".  There's Easton sitting up in his bed with yak all over the bed and him and his clothes.  Apparently Macayo's salsa didn't agree with his digestive system.  Gross!  He was concerned about his bed and what I thought, but I reassured him it's not a big deal and he'll be OK.  I stripped his bed and gave him new sheets.  After  few Nilla wafers and a slice of pita bread he said, "I feel much better".  Hopefully this is the last I hear from him tonight and he got it all out the first time.

Just having Kendra around would have made that entire situation much more tolerable.  Hurry home, my lovely wife!

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