Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Open Book Answers PART III (by H)

What is your favorite time of day? ~Mandy: For me, it has always been the early morning – the earlier, the better. Braydon used to hate early mornings, but the longer he’s been with me the more he’s grown to love the early morning too. Now it is the favorite time of day for both of us. We love getting up before the bambinos and having coffee watching the sunrise… and then greeting them as they come stumbling downstairs just having woken up.

How blessed/lucky do you feel to have gotten 8 month old twins out of haiti in such a short time, especially now that people are waiting well over 2 years? Also, the boys look so identical to us, but one seems redder haired than the other, is that just the camera doing that? ~Ali: We feel incredibly blessed and lucky. Regarding how we got them home so quickly—Braydon wrote a good post about this back in March. Check it out here: http://johnson-mccormickfamily.blogspot.com/2008/03/whatever-it-takes.html Regarding the boys—we have never done the genetic testing to determine for sure whether K & O are ‘identical’ or ‘fraternal.’ However, I have read a lot about this and I feel pretty confident in saying that K & O are not identical twins. Their hair texture, for one, is different from one another – which is a major marker that twins are non-identical. Which leads to your hair color question… It is not the camera doing that! Owen’s hair always lightens in the summer. Kyle’s does a bit too, but Owen’s is very pronounced. This has happened each summer. It looks very ‘red,’ light, bleached… it looks like we’re getting his locs highlighted! (but we aren’t, of course). Over the winter it will darken up again. But right now, yes, it looks relatively very light! We joke about how lots of people pay LOTS of money to get their locs looking like that!! The sun’s doing it for Owen for free! I gotta say that I think it is so cute—he looks like quite the little island child and I love it! The look fits him perfectly.
What is the most effective thing you do to let the boys know their behavior is unacceptable to prevent it from happening again? ~Karen Vitek: Hi Karen! ;) [Karen is a dear old family friend!]We’ve found over and over that the most effective thing for us to do is to dramatically ignore them/emotionally detach from them. Calmly and coolly turn and walk away; literally ‘detach with love.’ This works incredibly, incredibly well with Kyle and Owen. This is definitely the most effective thing to do with our particular boys… but… when we’re so mad that we’re about to lose our minds… well, even though we know it is the most effective thing to do, it sure is the hardest thing to do!! We try to remember to handle their unacceptable behavior that way, but the more unacceptable their behavior is, the harder it is for us to detach ourselves! We fly off the handle way too often (which is remarkably ineffective with them). So, we learn this lesson over and over for ourselves and we try to remember it. It is a major challenge for us.
Maybe one day we'll go the biological route as well, and my question is what is your favorite phrase to give to anyone who says "oh, now you'll have your "own"? ~Karen: My favorite phrase in response to this was always to play dumb (my tried and true motto: 'when in doubt, play dumb') and say “my ‘own’? what do you mean? K & O are my own.’ And then look *very* quizzically at the person asking me this question . And wait to see how they respond in the very awkward silence the follows. Now that Meera is with us, I get lots of comments that are similar, like, “Oh, isn’t is so wonderful to finally have one of your own?!" I’ll have to post about that whole thing another time. I just haven't had the gumption to post about it yet because it is just. so. incredibly. depressing. for. me. to. think. about. It is just so heavy. Ugh.

How did you choose Meera's name? ~Ani: Early on in my pregnancy (long before we knew it was a girl) I was looking through lists of baby names and 'Meera' popped out at me. I loved it. That night I asked Braydon about it. He loved it too. We decided pretty much right then and there that if we had a girl it would be “Meera.” It seemed to be exactly the kind of name we were looking for.
I never ever heard of the beautiful name Meera before, anywhere. Is she named after a family member? Or has it some kind of other special meaning? ~Lieve: She’s not named after a family member; no special meaning; we just love the name and it seemed like it just worked for us.

Did the boys help decide on Meera's name? Did they accidentally tell it to anyone before she was born? ~Martha: No, the boys had nothing to do with Meera’s name. Braydon and I chose it entirely by ourselves. We told K & O the name when we told them they were going to have a baby sister (blogged about that here: http://johnson-mccormickfamily.blogspot.com/2008/01/baby-sister.html). So, they knew all along that it was “Baby Meera.” They never questioned the name whatsoever. They also never knew we were keeping the name secret. So, whenever friends/family would want to know the name they could always ask K & O and they’d always tell them "Baby Meera"! So, quite a few people found out that way. K & O also told people on their own sometimes – like their entire pre-school class at school knew the name right from the start, etc.! ;)

Was Meera almost named anything else? What were the top ten names? ~Stella: Way back when we always loved the name Taylor and wanted to name our baby that if we ever were to have a girl. But then the name Taylor became very popular a bunch of years ago. Because I have such a common name, I never wanted any of my kids to have a ‘top ten’ name. So, Taylor was out. We also always loved the name Grace. But when the time came we couldn’t bring ourselves to name her that because it just seemed like it too had become too popular of a name. We loved ‘Grace’ so much though, and loved what it represents/means/symbolizes, that we knew that would be our baby's middle name (regardless of first name) if we were to have a girl. In thinking about baby names 'Meera' just seemed to fit and it just clicked and then it just seemed meant to be our daughter’s name. Other names we seriously considered: Sondra, Riley, Mia, Maya. We are really glad we named her Meera Grace. As soon as she was born I knew it was exactly the right name. It feels right. To me she looks like nothing other than a Meera Grace.

My question is about Heather's parents, whom you refer to as Mormor and Morfar...is that because they are Swedish??? ~Mr. & Mrs. Lorentzon: Yes!

1] In one word, what is your favorite way to relax after the kids are sleeping but before you are sleeping? 2] Do you have a preference for keeping your sons together or to separate them in kindergarten? ~Tracy R.: 1] Blogging 2] K & O start kindergarten in a few weeks (they are going to be in a 2-year mixed-age kindergarten program for 4-5-6 year-olds at their Waldorf school). This summer we’ve devoted a serious amount of time to struggling with the question of whether to separate them for kindergarten. You can look for future posts about that in the not too distant future. Keep reading! ;)

You guys ever think to add a cat, dog or pet to the mix? ~Eden: We have a cat! You wouldn’t even believe some of the stuff this cat puts up with from K & O!!!!!!! I found K & O doing the following the other day (see photo below)... what is hard to make out in the photo is that there is our cat in that basket way up high. That is where he goes to hide from K & O... and poor cat... K & O figured out a way to get at him even there. The cat is almost 14 years old. We love him, but we know for sure that right now 1 cat is more than enough pets for us!!!!!!!!! LOL!

I was going through the old post and I was watching the Happy Holidays video. And his laugh made me want to laugh. My question is don't you just LOVE Owen's laugh?? ~Lucy: YES! He has the best laugh ever!!!!!!!!!! And he laughs allllll daaaaaaaaaaay loooooooooooooong every single day!

My question is (wish it was close-ended, but unfortunately not) where do you get your lovely, yummy recipes? ~Claudia: Oh, gosh… I’m always looking for lovely yummy *EASY* recipes. If you have any, please share!!!!! But to answer your question— I get them from all over—friends, family, cookbooks, internet, The Cooking Channel, magazines, etc., etc., etc. Mostly, though, I get them from restaurants- I’m one of those people who can eat something once and then duplicate it pretty closely at home. Most of our best ‘recipes’ are not recipes at all—I’ve just made them up based on trying to replicate things I’ve eaten at great restaurants. (Photo below, of Owen, taken at dinner tonight - a favorite pasta dish: penne with chicken and sundried tomatoes)
Have you two ever considered cutting the boys hair.. giving them a "traditonal" haircut? ~TNT5150: Yes, three times. Before we decided to loc their hair we were deciding between cutting it and loc’ing it. We decided to loc it, but we were seriously considering the more traditional haircut at that time (we started their locs when they were 20 months old). Post-locs there have been two times we’ve seriously considered cutting it – 1) the first summer they had their dreadlocks… the daily swimming and sandbox play was just a total nightmare on their baby dreds… and I came close to giving up. I’m so glad I didn’t! 2) in the early spring of 2007 we were having some pretty intense ‘issues’ with our daycare [you can just read between the lines there]… I was really at a low and feeling concerned about how my boys were being treated and how their hair might be playing into it in a negative way. I called my mom and told her I was seriously considering cutting their hair. She convinced me not to do it. She also supported me in the decision to, instead, take them out of that daycare. Thanks Mom! We love their hair. K & O love it too. I don’t see a time in the near future when we’d cut it. When/if we do it will be because K and/or O want their hair cut.

Do you think that Meera will be calling Braydon, Papi like Kyle and Owen do? ~Anonymous: Yes, Meera will call Braydon Papi.

Do the boys ask about their birth dad? ~Lori: No, they never have.

P.S. A shout out to Abby from Doylestown who de-lurked but didn’t leave a question – Be in touch so we can get together in Doylestown sometime!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I just love love love reading your open book answers. It's a highlight to my post-kid bedtime evenings this week. Thank you for taking so much time to give us all insight into your lives. You guys are inspirational and I am so glad you are vulnerable and honest enough to share with total strangers! We do feel like we know you in some crazy way! I didn't leave a question before the deadline (was on vacation), but I have a light hearted question. I'm really wanting to know what your favorite salad recipes are...we have been LOVING your blueberry pecan salad recipe the last couple weeks and are in dire need of another!