Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do you know?

Do you know how long it's been since I've traveled more than 1/2 hr away from home with all three little girls? Yeah, me neither. I believe it was last September. We've got three hours in the car one-way tomorrow. I hoping for a miracle... ...that they will fall asleep in the car at some point tomorrow! I do remember. We traveled to go to Mike's grandpa's funeral in November. That was about an hour away.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday Stuff

Yesterday, Mike took Amanda to town to go shopping. It was fun to see the interactions between the two little girls alone. Christiana insisted that both she and Tali needed to be wearing silkies on their heads. Tali is getting to the age where she thinks it's fun to have a hat or something on her head and will pat it gently instead of pulling it off the moment it gets put on.

I read an interesting article the other day that suggested that babies shouldn't have grains until their molars erupt because before that their bodies weren't able to digest them properly. As a person with food intolerances and allergies, the theory seems plausible. I did wait longer than most people to introduce any kinds of grains or dairy. However the reality in our house just isn't conducive to adhering to such a theory. Yesterday I would hand Christiana (she has molars) a fresh pancake off the cooling rack, she would immediately go over and give Tali a bite (she barely has six teeth.) It was so sweet!

Amanda + sled + tree =

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It was bound to happen...

Most of the time, when people see a baby on my back they are curious, impressed, amused or surprised. I often have people ask me how I did it or where to buy the wrap because they have a daughter, granddaughter or niece who just had a baby or is expecting. But in the three years of babywearing, I had never heard a negative comment.

Until Sunday...

The comment came from a visiting pastor. In fact, I think he's being consider as a pastoral candidate. The first thing he said to me was that during the service he just kept thinking about how all Tali could see was my back. He was trying to say it in the nicest way possible but he was saying he didn't think being on my back would be very fun for the baby.

I just stood there dumbfounded. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, didn't know what to say, and was busy trying to keep track of Ana. One of the other ladies came to my defense and said that Tali was just so happy to be close to her mama.

Later Mike asked me if I had met the visiting pastor and what I had thought about him. I told him about the comment. I also told him that I didn't judge him too harshly on the comment because he didn't have the privilege of being there the previous week when I didn't have one of the babies strapped to my back. You know, when Ana escaped up to the front where Mike was playing guitar, and Amanda burst into tears because I told her not to pester Tyler, and Tali got her foot stuck while standing next to me on the chair squealing and flirting with the couple behind us.

Because then he would have commented on how positively brilliant it is to strap one of the babies to my back. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I'm not sure what's funnier---

The way Amanda says asparagus...


...or the way Tyler runs from the smell of it cooking...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Extended Rear-Facing

I started this post last week but it seems timely considering the news of the AAP recommendations to keep kids rear-facing at least until age two.

Last Tuesday, we went to a carseat clinic after naptime. I scheduled the appointment on Monday and then thought better of it. How in the world was I going to manage three little girls with strangers crawling all over our van? I went anyways and hoped for the best. I again brought those magic o's. The girls were pretty upset when the carseat technicians began peeking in the van and inspecting them in their seats. I figured as some point there would be so much crying I wouldn't be able to hear a word from the instructors. However, once I got out their stroller and set them up with snacks they were mostly content.

Amanda kept tattling on them. "Somebody broke my carseat! No, they can't look at it!"

The main instructor was pretty impressed to see that Amanda was still rear-facing. He asked me where I had been educated about the benefits of extended rear-facing. I told him I had read about the Kyle David Miller Foundation online and had heard about the videos about what happens to a young child's head and spine during a crash. I can't remember the exact title of his job, but he deals with the aftermath of vehicle accidents and has seen first hand what happens in a crash. That's why he became involved in the car seat clinics. He says he doesn't let kids under two years of age leave the clinics forward-facing.

He also said our Radians were the first ones he had seen and wondered where we got them. We got them from Baby Catalog for $215 and $209 with the discounts that show up when you add the seat to your cart. With the addition of children to our family, we needed to buy carseats anyways. So, I chose ones that would keep them rear-facing the longest and with keep them in a harness until they are 80 lbs. These are the last seats I should have to buy for them.

Now, I was thinking that they were going to make sure our carseats were installed properly, i.e. install them for me. Not so! After asking questions and giving suggestions, they had me reinstall the seats. Thankfully, the girls were being so good so it wasn't a problem. One of the ladies asked if they were "always this good." Ha, ha! Of course not!

Things I learned:

-It's not good to put a towel under the carseat "to protect the upholstery." Friction between the seat and the carseat help keep it secure.

-I can install the seat tight enough. I always worried about them moving too much. But it says there shouldn't be more than one inch of movement on the belt path when you tug "lightly" on the carseat. I missed the "lightly" part.

-A small stuffed animal would be a better choice of entertainment than a board book. And items like diaper bags should be stored in the back or on the floor.

-The top tether straps should only be used until 40 lbs in my van and 60 lbs in Mike's truck.

-Those new DVD players that Mike bought that are supposed to strap on the seat backs are not tested to be safe and there's no guarantee that they will stay secure in a vehicle. And since most crashes are front impact, the DVD player would fly right into the rear-facing child's face. Yikes! Mike actually bought the players for the boys when they travel in his truck. The van has a factory DVD but of course the girls can't see it. It's a good thing I have so many books memorized to recite while we're in the car. :)

All in all is was a good experience. I receive the reassurance I needed that I had translated the information I had read in the booklets and online into appropriate installations. I still hope and pray those installations will truly be put to the test, however.

The Pool- Take Two

On Monday, I took my second trip to the pool solo. We checked out the progress of the ice removal before heading to the locker rooms. They hadn't started yet but the ice looked funny because the cooling had been turned off overnight.

Everything went much better. I laid out my bathrobe as the picnic mat and poured a little pile of toasted o's in the center. Amanda and Ana split a cheese stick. The food kept them happily occupied while I got everyone dressed and ready. I put sandals on Ana and Amanda to help them feel more secure and just held Tali while we showered. That way my wrap was dry when I sat down to wrap up the little girls on my front. I also had silicone swim caps that I put on over Ana and Amanda's Lycra ones after wetting their hair.

There was another mom and little girl in the pool too. Everything went fine and after a while, I pulled one of the pool chairs into the water so I could sit a bit deeper and Amanda could practice jumping off the edge and navigating the deeper water. We found out that there is a bin of kick boards that we can use so I won't bother to bring the pool noodles next time.

We were in the pool for about an hour and then got out to shower. I had considered bringing a pitcher to make hair washing less traumatic (those locker room showers can be a bit painful). I forgot the pitcher but I did bring the chlorine removal shampoo and conditioner in a gallon zipper bag. I filled the bag and dumped it over the girls heads so shower time went pretty quickly. I don't think they had much chlorine in their hair but I used the shampoo as body wash too.

When we got back to the changing room, I laid my robe down again and passed out some more o's and cheese sticks and some milk for Ana. Then I got everyone lotioned and dressed. They munched happily and even stayed in the little room while I went back to wring out our suits and the wrap. The only other thing I will do differently is not shake out my robe when we are ready to go. (Since the point of laying down the robe is to avoid picking up those little o's off the floor.)(I just re-read my paragraph and had spelled "robe'' like Job three times. I should be in bed.)

Then we went out to the snack area with a view of the rink. I nursed Tali while the other girls finished their snack and watched the loaders removing the ice. Amanda asked if we could go skating several times. Maybe we'll bring her roller blades next week and let her skate around on the pavement for a bit before swimming.

All in all, it was a much better event. I think I'm only going to try swimming once a week since the chlorine is so hard on every one's skin. Plus it's getting so nice out that we can spend more time outside at home.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Making the Most of Winter

To make up for the disappointment at the ice rink last Thursday, we decided to go sledding after naps. This is how we got to the the hill. I was pulling Christiana and Amanda. Amanda was hanging on to Tali's rope. Tali loves the snow! She drug her mittens in the snow the whole way.

Tali also enjoyed sliding down the hill. Although it was a bit warm so the sleds were going pretty slow.

Amanda did some sliding with Christiana including pulling her back up the hill. I have no idea why Amanda has the rope in her mouth. I didn't notice it until I saw the pictures.

This is the second time I've actually let Tali get down and crawl around in the snow. She had such a good time. The first time she kept getting face first in the snow and I thought she was falling over but it turned out she was just tasting the snow.

After we were done sledding, we went over to the swing set to play. The sledding hill and the swing set are in our neighbor's yard. The boys' sledding hill is on the backside with more trees and a jump. We weren't sliding there.

Amanda and Christiana rode on the saw horse together. Christiana gets so frustrated because she wants to do everything Amanda does including sit on the swings and reach the hanging bar.

Tali even took a turn on the swings.

I sure love my girls and love being outside with them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Last Day of Skating

Today was our last day of skating. I'm sad. I brought the camera to get some videos and photos only to find out they were doing some major work on the ice to prepare for the removal on Monday. Ugh! It was frustrating and disappointing. We had our snack early to try to wait for them to finish and walked around the track in our skates. After the fact, I wish I would have asked for them to just give us a half hour. Oh well. We got a few minutes on the ice. They said we could skate in the middle while the Zamboni worked around the edges but the girls were totally freaked out by that.

It's crazy to think about how different things will be next fall when we can go skating again.

On Monday, we're going to go watch them remove the ice for a little bit and then we'll go swimming. I am sad to say good-by to skating but I know it means spring is coming soon. Yeah!!! That's fun too.