Saturday, February 25, 2012

Too Much Temptation

It's just too tempting to have three (oops!), FOUR little girls who love to be all matching. Hopefully I can just stick to clearanced out jammies.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

At 10:44 am last night, I posted this status on Facebook after finally getting Julia to sleep:

"There is a definite link between a sleepless baby and chocolate eating. I'm not sure if the chocolate eating is causing the sleepless baby but the sleepless baby is definitely causing the chocolate eating."

Since I haven't had much time with Mike, I invited him to come tuck me in, i.e. give me a back rub. :) At some point, during those few minutes, Tali woke up and needed to be reminded to be quiet and go back to bed. After a while, Mike went downstairs to sleep so his coughing and snoring wouldn't wake everybody up.

At 12:30 am, Julia was up again. About the time I had gotten her fed, changed and rocked back to sleep, I heard a thump from Tali's room and some crying. She had fallen out of bed. With Julia still in my arms, I went in to comfort her. I heard Mike come up the stairs, so I sent Tali out to snuggle with him while I put Julia to bed.

Tali put up quite a fuss about going back in her bed which woke up Amanda who started coughing and gagging. During all the commotion with Amanda, Tali was quiet, but once we got Amanda settled, she started crying on and off again. For the next two hours, I had to go in there about every ten or twenty minutes because she was crying again. 2:30 am was the last time I had to go in there.

At 4 am, Amanda woke up coughing and gagging again. I gave her some pain reliever and honey to soothe her throat. By 4:30 am, Julia was up again. I put her back to bed around 5 am and then listened to her snuffle and gasp because her nose is stuffy. I kept thinking I should get up and try to use a little breast milk to help loosen things up but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed.

At 7 am, Ana, who had been wonderfully quiet all night despite all the commotion going on I very close proximity to where she was sleeping, woke up and started chattering cheerfully. Julia woke a crying again too. I did what I could to relieve her breathing troubles before nursing her again.

At that was it. The end of my night. The beginning of my day. We started getting ready for church.

I often have people say to me, "I don't know how you do it." I don't know how I do it either. After I night like last night, I often wonder how I will ever survive the tomorrow, but I do. It's a bit like the miracle of the fishes and the loaves. The doutful, faithless disciples didn't think they had enough to feed the large crowd but Jesus made it enough.

Like the simple meal of bread and fish, I also have simple expectations for myself: full tummies, clean, dry bottoms, and quiet, gentle words in their ears. Anything else that I manage to accomplish is a bonus. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Second Birthday, Talitha!

Yep, these fruit and veggie cakes are definitely going to be the new tradition around here. The girls really think they are a lot of fun and want to try a little bit of everything. We'll work on improving the presentation and it will be fun to have different fruits and veggies in different seasons.

It took all morning but we finally convinced Tali that she was two. She kept saying, "No!" but that her response to everything these days. ;) She didn't want to blow out the candles because she just wanted to dig into the cherry tomatoes. Those were the favorites and the first to disappear. Tali also ate the apples and sampled the cucumbers. Ana ate tomatoes, oranges, apples, cucumbers, and celery. She sampled the peppers. Amanda ate everything after arranging it all neatly on her plate. We didn't get to the pineapple so we'll try that at snack time.

Tali has definitely hit the "trying twos." "No" has been her favorite word and she's been very spunky and argumentative. She is very verbal and I am amazed by the number of songs she knows and can sing. She is doing some potty training. I'd like to just put away the diapers and get her trained but I'm not prepared to deal with poopy accidents in underwear. No fun! She goes potty on the toilet quite a bit and has gone #2 once or twice. She had been in disposables since Julia was born and when I finally started doing cloth with her again she complained that they were too big. Ha, ha! That's a good reason to get potty trained, Honey!

We switched her into a toddler bed this week too. It's gone okay. She was being a stinker about bedtime anyways so I decided to go for it. For the most part, she stays in bed but she fusses when it's time for bed and she's been waking up in the middle of the night fussing since she was sick around the time Julia was born. Usually about an 1 hour after Julia falls back asleep, Amanda comes into our room complaining that Tali is crying. Why can't she wake up when I'm already up? I hope she gets back to a normal sleep pattern soon.

We've been spending a lot of time at Reading Bear this week. We all sit in the big chair while I'm nursing Julia and go through the presentations. It was intended as a reading program for Amanda but I can see how it will improve the little girls' vocabulary. Plus it keeps everyone safe and engaged while my hands are full. ;) Thanks to Deborah at My Little Homeschool for sharing Reading Bear with us!

I hear the birthday girl waking up from her nap. It great because I can send Ana or Amanda to tell her she can wake up instead of having to lift her out of bed. Nice!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Big Day

We survived our first trip to church with all four little girls. Amanda, Ana and Tali all cheerful participated in Sunday school instead of clinging to me. Amanda started skating lessons. Julia slept from 10 pm until 5 am.

And Mike made me realize that we have to have the house ready to list in two weeks or we lose his relocation package. Eeek!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pictures and a Bit of Babbling

I love this little pink and green outfit. It was one of the things I picked out for Amanda. Who knew I'd have four little girls wearing it. This bassinet was Cousin Reilly's so Amanda didn't use it but I have pictures of the other three girls in it. It's next to the bed in our room. I have it propped up on one side on a fold-up exercise mat. I think with spitty babies it's always nice to have them on a bit of an incline. The elevated sleeping wedge we used with Tali and Ana was in pretty rough shape and needed to be thrown out. Julia is not as spitty as they were, but I still like her propped up a bit.

I love these soft little cheeks. There is nothing sweeter!

She's already outgrowing this hat. Too bad. She only wore it in pictures. If we make it to church on Sunday, maybe she'll get to wear it. We haven't gone since the week before she was born. Since I only have two days on the weekend to recover a bit of the sleep I've lost during the week, I rather sleep in while Mike gets up with the girls instead of getting up at the ridiculously early hour I would need to get every ready and presentable for church. Mike and Amanda went last Sunday. Getting one little girls ready for church is doable after sleeping in a bit. Four plus me? Not so much.

I love these little fingers. Amanda is always trying to get her to grab things and hold onto them.

Somebody get this girl to the chiropractor! She definitely favors one side. I hope to go in on Monday. Mike will be home. Again, when I've had help, I always opt for taking a nap instead of trying to get ready to go some where. We both need an adjustment though.

I'm convinced the reason she has trouble falling asleep at night is because it's so quiet. She often dozes off in the midst of the girls noisy chaos. One day when she was having trouble sleeping during the day, I tried the sound machine on the heartbeat setting. She didn't seem to like it. Too bad they don't have a "Daddy Snoring" setting. She sleeps though that. ;)

The only time I really see any sibling rivalry toward Julia is when I take out the camera. "Take a picture of me too!" Otherwise, they just want to hug her and squeeze her and touch her.

First smiles.

It happens quite frequently that the little girls are eating when Julia wakes up and needs to nurse. I can nurse her pretty comfortably at the table using a blanket for support and padding in the captain's chair. Then we just sit and snuggle until the girls are done. I try to have a couple of wet wash clothes ready at the table so when they are done, I can wipe them up and get them down, while still sitting and holding Julia. I actually started the practice when I was pregnant to avoid the pain of get up out of my chair and trying to bend over to wipe them clean.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week Three

Julia is acting more like a normal newborn. Her sleep patterns are predictably unpredictable. Today day she slept all through naptime. I think that's the first time she's done that on the days I've been home alone with the girls. I'm so thankful. I really needed the rest. Amanda is doing well during rest time. She does puzzles or school or colors.

I'm starting to feel a lot more normal other than the sleep deprivation. The uterine prolapse is almost completely better and I have been able to get out and go for walks and do some exercising at home. On Monday, I took all four little girls outside for the first time. We were going to walk over to our neighbor Carrie's but when we got outside we found out it was really windy. We decided to only go as far as Heather's. It turned out the Carrie and her kids were already over at Heather's. It was nice. I hadn't seen Carrie since she had her baby in December. We played outside in the woods on Heather's playground. It was out of the wind and the kids had a good time. When Carrie had to go home, we all went inside to play for a bit too.

Julia slept in the wrap the whole time. Our visit went fine until it was time to go. That's was a little stressful and involved lots of crying. Most of our exits are like that. We'll have to work on that.

Today, we actually all piled in the vehicle and headed out. Heather and Carrie and a few other moms met at a local gym to play. I loaded the three older girls in the van first and then went back in the house to get Julia out of bed and loaded in her carseat.

At the gym, I got Amanda out first. She's in the integrated child-seat on the passenger side. Then I flipped her seat forward and got Ana out of the back and Tali out of the middle. I sent them to the door and went and got Julia from behind the driver's seat. That limited Julia's time out in the cold. This car seat arrangement will work for a short while longer. The intergrated seat only goes to 40 lbs and Amanda is 38 lbs.

At gym time, the Ana and Tali don't usually play. They sit on chairs next to me and watch. I think that is just fine. They are quiet and not getting into fights or trouble. Amanda had a good time running around with the other kids and I was able to have some adult conversation.

On the way out, I just reversed the order. I put Julia in first and started the van. The other little girls slid around on a frozen puddle until it was time for them to get buckled in. I'm glad we went. It was nice to get out. We went for another walk this afternoon. It seems like life is so much better when we can get outside everyday.

Here's some photos from when my mom was here. She's been bringing the girls new puzzles to do and she has spent time helping them work on them.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

Here's another recipe I want to try sometime. I found it over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene. I'm going to try to subsitute bananas for the eggs . That worked really well for those other cookies.

Black Bean Brownies

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract and sugar in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.


Update: My uncle is at home and resting. He's feeling no pain at the moment but I'm sure he'll be pretty sore in the coming days. He was hit right outside their place of business. My aunt was working inside and heard the accident but didn't know he was involved until he called her. This all happened just one stoplight east of where my mom was hit. Thanks for the prayers and well wishes.

Almost two years ago, my mom was hit by a driver running a red light. Today, my uncle was hit by another driver running a red light. This is not a tradition we'd like to continue. Praying for his health and recovery. It sounds like he may have some back and neck injuries and my aunt is very shook up. I don't think she was with him. I hope to hear more of an update later.