Monday, February 28, 2011
It's 10:30 am. Tali's in bed. Amanda and Ana are hungry. I tell Amanda to dig out some potatoes. She gets the colander and starts filling it with potatoes from the drawer. Ana follows me as I pull the venison sausages out of the freezer. She tries to grab something out of the freezer too. Then she pushes her chair over to the stove where I set the sausages. The colander is full but Amanda's still grabbing more potatoes. I set the colander into the sink on top of the dirty dishes. Amanda pushes her chair to the sink and begins scrubbing the potatoes. I grab the dirty spatula that Ana's about to put in her mouth. She reaches for the dirty pan.
I get the counter and stove cleared and grab a pot. I ask Amanda to fill it with water for the sausage. Ana wants to use the knife I'm using to open the sausages. I say, "No." She begins to cry and gets down off her chair. She climbs up onto Amanda's chair. The pot is very full of water now. I dump most of it out and put in the sausages. Amanda says the potatoes are washed. I grab the cutting board and the potato peeler. Amanda sees the peeler and searches for another one. She gets down off her chair and gets onto Ana's chair. Ana begins to play with the clean bottles in the drying rack. I put them out of reach. Amanda's having trouble peeling potatoes. She says she wants to peel carrots instead. I tell her we are having potatoes. Amanda wants me to help her peel potatoes. I try to show her how to do it and get back to peeling mine.
Amanda's still having trouble and wants me to help her. I ask her if she's hungry. She says that she is. I tell her that I better do it quick. Ana's putting dirty dishes in her mouth. I give her a scrub brush. I tell Amanda to help clean up the peels. She cleans up the ones on the cutting board and begins grabbing them out of my hand as them come off the peeler. Ana is playing with the peeled potatoes that are going back into the colander in the sink. She is tasting them. She drops one on the floor. I send her down to pick it up. I know it will buy me some time. The potatoes are almost peeled. Ana drops one on my toes. Then she throws down another one. I send her down again and finish the rest. I begin rinsing the potatoes off. As I'm washing the potatoes Amanda returns to the chair at the sink. As I'm getting out the bar pan, Ana returns to the chair at the stove. Amanda want to help cut the potatoes. I ask her again if she's hungry. She agrees to put the potatoes onto the bar pan after they're cut. Christiana is playing with a clean spatula at the stove. I keep her from stirring the sausages that are sitting in the cold water.
Potatoes are chopped into fries. I drizzle olive oil over the fries and stir with Ana's spatula. I sprinkle dill and sea salt over them. Both girls request a taste of the dill and salt. Ana wants more dill. Amanda has been holding a fry that she wants to use as a party candle. I tell her to finish eating it since she had already taken bites and choose another one to place vertically in the pan. I place the fries in the oven. I give the bowl of peels to Amanda to place into the compost bag. Ana wants to help. Amanda says that she can't. I tell her to let Ana help. I start the sausages.
I put the silverware basket in the sink and tell the girls to fill it with silverware while I put away the clean dishes in the drying rack from last night. Amanda puts stuff in. Christiana takes it out. Amanda grabs Ana's hand. Ana leans over and bites Amanda. Amanda screeches. I remind Ana to be gentle and not bite. "Mwah!" She kisses Amanda. I explain to Amanda that it's okay if Ana takes stuff out because that's how she learns. Both girls are standing on the chair near the sink. I slide the other one next to it so they don't fall off that way. I stand in the space between the chairs and the open dishwasher door. Ana picks up a dish. I take it and wipe it with a soapy rag then put it in the dishwasher.
Amanda is filling a peanut butter jar with water. Ana tries to put a spoon in her mouth. I move faster to remove objects as soon as Ana picks them up. Ana wants to fill something with water too. I don't let her because she always dumps it on the floor. There is only silverware left in her sink and she's getting fussy. I give her the dish brush that's full of soap and show her how it makes bubbles. Amanda is still filling and spilling the peanut butter jar. She also hands me the dirty dishes from the counter.
The dishes are done and I get out the mushrooms to rinse. The fries are done. Amanda gets out a plate for herself and brings it to the stove. I tell her to get one for Ana and to grab the ketchup. Ana is making smacking noises indicating she's hungry. I load up their plates with fries and they watch me chop the mushrooms and place them in the sizzling oil. Their fries are cool so I put them in their chairs to eat. Ah! Peace at last.
They are contently munching their fries. Ana's is humming like she always does when she eats. I finish frying the mushrooms and chop the sausages. I add some dried onion, cooked wild rice and liquid from the sausages to the pan. That's Mike's meal. I set it to low to keep warn until he gets home. I give the girls some sausage. I microwave some green beans and grind them with the hand blender for Ana after giving some to Amanda. Finally I sit down to feed Ana the beans and eat my fries and sausage. Amanda announces she needs to use the bathroom which means she will need me shortly. I help her get cleaned up. She's back at the table. Mike gets home. "Daddy!!!"
It's 11:30 am. Their tummy's are full and so is the sink. Again.
Friday, February 25, 2011
If a child seems to be jumping from one toy to the next, they're not trying to find something that holds their attention, they're trying to find something that holds MY attention.
Cleaning up and sorting too many toys can be overwhelming to a child.
Having too many interesting toys means a child never gets bored and comes to learn from me.
My three little ones are too little to be expected to play well together without me within arms reach.
I have struggled to find the balance between having interesting things for the girls to play with and being able to manage the chaos. Just in the last month, I have struck the perfect balance of just enough toys to stimulate their little minds and yet keep my sanity.
One of the toys that is within reach is a small box of cars and tracks. There are more tracks but, I put them away because this small little loop is about the length of my arm. That's the distance I can defend from the destructive toddlers.
That is it for the toys that they have regular access to. When Amanda helps me clean up, there are only three easy types of toys to put away: cars and tracks, baby toys and books. They also have access to the plasticware cupboard and their drawer with cups, lids, and plastic bowls.
We have some special toys that are stored in our room under the nightstand that they can play with on occasion. Usually the door is closed so they can't get them, don't see them, and don't ask for them. I will bring them out when they seem to need something new. That rarely happens. They really seem to keep busy. They used to have access to all of these boxes but the contents would get dumped and then the would climb all over the boxes or ride in them like boats or ride on them like horseys. It was crazy and dangerous and to difficult to "police." Each of these toys are things I like and can be creative with. They are also have multiple pieces that take up a relatively small area for storage. This means they can be divided among lots of kids and tucked neatly away.
This little people house is such a favorite but the pieces are too small for Tali. The girls just couldn't be trusted to keep them away from her so I finally put it up high in Christiana's closet. The only time it comes out is when Tristen is here to play because he always asks for it. Amanda and Tristen play with it when the little girls are in bed.
There are all kinds of little people, tables, chairs, and vehicles in this set. The box also contains small animals, bugs and snakes.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Much like taking them skating in the first place, I knew I had to figure out a way to do myself. So, yesterday we tried on swimsuits and got them packed up to go this morning. I packed everything into a large wheeled suit case. It's called a suit case, of course, because we put our swim suits into it. :) I packed a life jacket for Ana and had her practice wearing it, Amanda's life jacket/arm floaty thing from last year, a wrap to wear Tali, three small towels and two pool noodles- plus the regular diaper bag with wipes, diapers, an outfit that fits both little girls, toasted O', frozen pancakes, cups for Ana and Amanda, and some apples. I wore my suit under my clothes and brought dry underclothes. I also had baby wash, conditioner, hair lotion and body lotion.
Our neighbor is borrowing our double stroller, so I wrapped Tali and my front with a second wrap, held hands with Ana and pulled the suitcase. Amanda carried the noodles and pushed the handicap door buttons. We used the family locker room which has private showers and large private changing rooms - except that the doors are two feet off the ground. Hmm. That's where the big suit case came in handy. I opened that suit case up and blocked the door so no one would escape and no one could see us all sitting on the floor. Amanda was excited and tearing her clothes off. Ana was trying to do the same and wanted help. I got Tali into her swim diaper and skipped getting her into a suit. Once I got myself undressed, her onto my back, I could help the other girls. There was quite a bit of whining and complaining going on at this point. Mostly from Christiana. She didn't like being in her swim suit or wearing the life jacket.
Lots more fussing and whining came as I got the little girls showered. I've been told it's very important to saturate their hair with fresh water to keep it from absorbing the chlorine water. Then I put on their Lycra swim caps to keep the hair wet, knowing that they wouldn't be spending much time underwater.
There are two pools at the center- a lap pool and anactivity pool. The activity pool is very warm and not deeper than 3'2". It's pretty small and has a zero depth entrance like a beach. Amanda was so excited. Christiana was miserable. Tali was hanging out. I finally took off Christiana's life jacket and had her sit in my lap in the very shallow part of the pool. I thought I might be able to avoid getting Tali and the wrap wet. Christiana was quiet sitting on my lap. She still wasn't really having an fun.
Pretty soon I could feel Tali reaching for the water and kicking it with her foot. Since Christiana wasn't really into it, I thought I try her on my back. However, Tali was not happy about being put down so I could get Christiana on my back. Lots of crying and fumbling, but I finally got Ana on my back and took Tali into a little deeper water. Amanda was enjoying herself but staying close to me. Tali could stand up in the water but kept trying to crawl and touch the bottom of the pool. When I put the pool noodle under her arms I could keep her from getting her face into the water. It was tricky to make sure I was keeping Christiana's face out of the water too. It hurt my back to be leaning forward to keep her out the water while holding onto Tali. At some point, Amanda asked to take of her life vest too. She is really so much more comfortable in the water and she was really working those pool noodles. Yeah!
And then...I had a stroke of brilliance that saved the day and all future swimming trips. I thought of strapping both girls on my front facing outward. I went to the edge of the pool, to execute my new plan. Christiana was upset about being taken off my back and Tali wasn't happy about getting out of water but it was worth it! I sat on the floor with a girl on each knee, found the center of the wrap and put it across both of their bellies. One side went behind my back, over my shoulder across Ana's shoulder and between Tali's legs. The other side went behind my back over my shoulder, over Tali's shoulder and through Ana's legs and they were tied together behind my back. That was so much more comfortable. I could lean back on my hands and just let them kick. Of course, by this time we had been in the water for close 45 mins and we needed to get out before they started to get really crabby since we still had to get through showers and dressing.
It's amazing how much heavier two babies and a wet wrap are when you get out of the water. We must have looked like some kind of crazy octopus. I was relying on the wrap but also holding onto the babies while Amanda carried her noodles. Amanda did so much better in the shower. She went right under the water while I was untying the babies. We just used the soap from the pump on the wall to wash everybody off. The little babies were fussing but some how I got everyone stripped of their suits and washed off. I had to leave my suit on because we didn't bring a towel big enough since I hadn't planned on getting myself or Tali wet. We left all our stuff in the shower stall and headed back to the little room to dress. I got Tali lotioned and dressed and myself dressed first and got her on my back and she was content. Then I could lotion the other girls and get them dressed. I took out Amanda's two braids so that her hair would dry a bit more.
Amanda was anxious to go see the ice rink. Christiana was pretty fussy at this point. I went to go wring out our stuff with her following me and whining. Amanda was chatting with a lady in the locker room. We got all our wet stuff packed in plastic bags and pool noodles secured to the suit case. It has clips along the sides. Very handy! Amanda carried the diaper bag with the food and we went out to the tables near the rink where it is our custom to eat a snack. The bigger girls munched while Tali nursed. After every one's tummies were full, we headed home. It's always so nice to be greeted by Mike who's home for lunch. He helps get everyone in the house and settled for naps.
All in all, it was a big success! There are just a few things I'll do differently next time: bring a robe so I can shower off too, lay down a thin fleece blanket on the floor of the changing room so the girls can snack while we're dressing and undressing, and leave the life vests at home. And of course, put the little girls on front from the start.
As Amanda looked out at the rink while she was eating her snack, I asked her if she was sad that we didn't go skating. She said, "But we got to go swimming!!"
Monday, February 21, 2011
At one year, Tali has six teeth. She prefers her food pureed. She likes to try to drink from a cup but still nurse four to five times a day. She has just started going to bed around 6 pm and sleeping until 7 am or 8 am. The other two were sleeping like this much younger. I'm glad to have the time in the evening to get stuff done, but we miss her and enjoyed that time with her. Tali is standing alone and will walk with help. She loves playing in the bath and she has a great sense of humor. She dances when Mike plays his guitar and still wants him to be holding her if he's within her sight. She gets dry skin and often needs more lotioning that Christiana. She throws little fits when she doesn't get her way and always tries to roll off the couch while I'm changing her diaper or her clothes. She wears mostly 18 month size clothing and size 3 or 4 shoes. (I'm not sure because the 4's were too big and keep falling off and I keep forgetting to try the 3's. I had packed them up to give to my cousin when I was sorting through the shoes but later I realized I had tried them on Christiana's feet not Tali. You would think that I wouldn't get those two confused but I do.)
We did squeeze her into the 12 month birthday dress just one more time. :)
Both girls have well-baby visits in a couple weeks so that's when I find out their measurements.
Friday, February 18, 2011
The battery on my phone was going dead and I didn't have the charger. Thankfully my friend Darla was local so I could call her. She wasn't able to bring me home but she called my doula to see if she could bring me home. Part of my agreement with her included 5 hours of postpartum care.
I was waiting for Darla to call me back when my doctor came in to check on me. While I was explaining to her about Mike being out of town, Darla called back. My doctor excused herself to go check on Tali. Darla had spoken to my doula and she was able to come but not until after lunch. It was about 9 am. I hung up and saw a shadow in the doorway. I expected to see my doctor come in but was so much happier to see Mike walk into the room. Yeah!!!! He had taken the day off and skipped the meeting. I was so glad.
Incidentally, his manager's meeting was on the 1st,2nd, and 3rd of February. He was told that if I didn't have the baby by the 1st, he wouldn't have to go. I'm was thinking, "If I did have the baby by the 1st, I sure didn't want him taking off for three days! It never came to that thankfully and they were still giving him a hard time about it this year. "So, when's your wife due again?"
We just hung around and relaxed while we waited for Tali to be 24 hours old so they could do the PKU test. Mike may have run to get me another salad from Subway. About the time, they came to do the test, Tali needed to nurse. They promised to come back shortly. About an hour later, they came back. We were getting pretty anxious to get home by this point. Finally, everything was taken care of and we were ready to leave. But not before a surprise visit by my friend Amber. She brought me roses and it was so fun to see her. She also took the pictures of Mike, me and Tali. She was at the clinic for an appointment. I had a passing though wondering what kind of appointment she had since clearly she wouldn't have come to see the baby if she was sick. Also, I thought she maybe looked pregnant but you just don't say that to a woman. The thing about pregnancy: it can only be kept a secret for so long. :) When the fog cleared, I did find out that she was expecting her ninth baby. Fun!
When we came home, I was the first one in the door. Amanda greeted me excitedly and chattered on about all the activites and fun she'd had while I was away. She didn't even notice Mike bring in Tali in her carseat. When Mike directed her attention to the new baby, she just looked her suspiciously and clung to me. Which was so much different that her reaction to Christiana. She couldn't wait to hold Christiana and was begging to hold her in the hospital. For a long time she wouldn't go near me when I was holding Tali.
Those first few days were so crazy. I was really sore and needed help lifting the babies. At one point, I realized that there needed to be two adults to help me. Thankfully it didn't take long for me to recover. I also realized that I needed to write down when everybody was eating, eliminating and when I was taking pain relievers. It was so chaotic.
We have offically survived that first year. I'd like to say things are less chaotic but they're not just different kinds of chaos.
And a whole lot of fun, smiles, giggles, hugs, and kisses too.
Happy Birthday, Tali-Bear!
Click here to read the posts from the month of Tali's birth.
Monday, February 14, 2011
After getting the girls down for a nap after church, I went outside to help Tyler with his homework. He needed to get video footage in to do a music video for his webpage design class. He decided to do the video of sledding and convinced Tony and his friend Jack to help him. It was about 40 degrees and the hill hadn't been used much so they had to start from scratch to get it slippery. But in end, we got some really cool footage. It was a lot of fun!
Amanda stopped part way down the hill to ask if she could knock down our neighbor's snowman. I said, "No."
Christiana was a little jealous of Tali being in the sled. She wanted to ride with her but she settled for helping pull the sled. She should be wearing gloves but she took them off twice in the driveway before we began our walk. It was 40 degrees which is pretty mild so I just let her go without. At this point, Amanda has decided that she was done pulling the sled but since Christiana was pulling she would also.
It was such and nice day and it's always nice to get out of the house.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Tali deserves a post all to herself. When I first started this blog, Amanda was our only baby. It was easy to do a photo shoot and update every month for her. It was a little more difficult to do with Christiana because I always had Amanda's help. Then trying to post updates for two babies...well let's just say I was happy when Christiana turned one and I was "released" from that monthly obligation. Tali's updates have always been late and I never even got decent pictures from 10 and 11 months. Ah well. Rest assured she is growing quite nicely. :)
Tali can pull herself to stand and will walk while pushing a overturned laundry basket or our hands. She says, "Dad-dad" quite often. He is definitely her favorite person. She tries to snap her fingers and she can clap. She likes to have her teeth brushed. She always cries when I put her in bed. She nurses about four or five times a day. Often the nursing is cut short during the day because she wants to play with the girls or Daddy. She takes about three naps per day and sleeps from 10 pm to 8 am on most nights. She likes to eat pureed foods and toasted "O's" and any random bits she finds on the floor.
She army-crawled for a long time and has recently started crawling on all fours. She doesn't like to lay still for her diaper changes and is beginning to throw fits when some one takes her toys or thwarts her will. She likes taking baths now and if the bathroom door is open she heads straight for the tub and stands up next to it. She is usually very content riding in the stroller on walks or at the ice rink. The only time she fusses is when she's hungry. She relies on her sisters for entertainment and excitement and sometimes a little bit too much snuggling. Most of the time, they all remind me of a bunch of rolly-polly puppies crawling, climbing and tripping all over each other and me. I sure wouldn't trade it for anything!
It's been beautiful for the last couple of days! On Friday during Mike's lunch hour, Amanda and I went down to the outdoor rink near our house. She's doing better every time we go. We did end up purchasing a membership and have been driving to the indoor arena about 1/2 hour from our house. We have been going twice a week. It's really helped getting me through the really tough days where it's too cold to go outside. Some days, Amanda is really clingy and doesn't want to let go of my hand. So the last time we went, I rewarded her with butterscotch chips. Every time she let me skate a lap around the rink by myself, I'd give her three chips. She would often skate after me trying to catch up but at least she was hollering, "Mommy! Help!"
Having the camera at the outdoor rink helped her to be brave too.
Christiana is beginning to enjoy being outside more and no longer just cries the entire time we are outside. We've gotten out a few times when it gets above 2o degrees. We've taken walks or played in the driveway. This is the aftermath of an outing for us. Mike says that it looks like a baby explosion. It's usually like this when he comes home because we go after naps and then come right into to dinner and putting the littlest girls to bed. After they're in bed, Amanda and I can clean up.
Amanda's finally been doing better in the car. I had a breakthrough one morning when I saw the rosary that was left out from the last time my mom and grandma were here. When I was young, they taught me about praying on long trips. I really played up that idea with Amanda and we started with prayers as soon as we got in the van. We recited prayers and books for about 10 minutes and then she was fine the rest of the trip. Now when ever I hear her starting to get whiny, I'll start reciting prayers, songs or scripture that she knows and she gets distracted. It's kind of funny. It almost like she can't resist repeating the things that she knows. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner, but usually I'm so focused and getting us all out the door I don't think of preparing her for the ride.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Country music- Many who liked Boating like this" Thank you, FB, I did not know there was such a strong connection between boating and country music
Free photography advice: If you want THREE balloons for your three-year-old's birthday photo shoot, have you husband pick up at least SIX!
Today we visit a friend's church. Amanda went into Sunday school and told everyone her name was Mickey Mouse and that she was two.
You know you're the mother of MSG* when you sort your laundry by lights, darks and pinks.
*many small girls
I fixed a snack. Raisins, raw sugar, oats and...Ketchup?! Sometimes multitasking does not go so well.
Day Two of Public School: Apparently I need to go downstairs and check to make sure Tyler is gone and not just believe Amanda when she says that Tyler went to school with Daddy.
No, I can't just use a paperbag to cover my textbook. Plus I wouldn't be seen in school with a paper bag on my books." Kids these days!
Music to my ears: "Mom, will you help me with my Algebra?"
More music to my ears: "Tyler go to school and I go to the playground!" After a month of talking about backpacks, riding the bus and being bigger so she could go to school.
I successfully over came the I-don't-want-to-do-the-dishes demon again tonight. Now it's time to battle the I-don't-want-to-go-downstairs-to-start-a-load-of-diapers one.
I have been wrestling octopuses all day.
I took Amanda voting while our neighbor stayed with the little girls. We met Mike at the polls. Amanda felt pretty important. :)
Tali woke up crying. Mike woke up, leaned over, hit the "snooze" button and then fell back asleep. Good try, honey. :)
I am totally on top of this day light savings thing. I won't be showing up an hour early for church this year. :)
We just got back from the first date night since Tali was born. Oh yeah, we were getting wild and rowdy at PTC*. ;) *parent teacher conferences
I didn't let a little thing like darkness at 5 pm keep us from going outside to play.
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, fourteen, sixteen, eleventeen... I think we can say that Amanda can count to eleven. After that, it gets a little questionable.
I just finished proof-reading Mike's paper about Internet privacy. Sorta made me want to delete my FB account and blog and never open the laptop again.
I think it''s ironic that "Debt Management" and "Gift Ideas" are two of the top three Google searches.
Mike's home safe and sound from his lasik sugery. He fell asleep mid-sentence when he got home and was sitting in his chair.
I think I may have out-smarted the babies. If I put cotton tights over their socks before bed they don't wake up with popsicle toes because they've yanked their socks off.
So thrilled to get pictures FROM Amanda's birth mom. That's first!
I wish I knew when that open mouth meant "I'm going to sneeze," and not "I'm ready for another spoonful of strained peas."
Christiana is helping Tony unload the dishwasher. Love it!
We need a second vehicle with more space. A minivan would be the most cost effective but it just wouldn't be BIG enough to haul Mike's EGO to work every day. :)
When Amanda went to bed the beans were still cooking in the crock pot. They were the first thing she asked for when she woke up. Kidney, black turtle and garbonzo- plain and cold right out of the fridge.