Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Smarshmallows . . .Regurgitation . . . Snacks

We have new obsessions (when I say "we" I mean Addison, Ethan, and Caden). Addison is hopelessly, compulsively addicted to marshmallows or as she calls them "smarshmallows". And no, she cannot possibly asked for them in a sweet, pleasant way. . . she MUST say it like it is the biggest emergency ever and cry and whine so that I can only think she must be injured in some way. We are working hard on getting her to say things in a "nice" way with the word "please" and she does do it occasionally without being asked. She does say "thank you" more often without being prompted but we are also working on that. She loves smarshmallows and this morning when I handed her a bowl of mini doughnuts and banana (not the healthiest breakfast but we have to get to school), she starts crying and whining. I ask what's the problem? "Want smarshmallows, mom!" (like I'm just supposed to know that). So like the good mommy that I am (actually I'm just too tired to fight it and we have to get ready for school) I give her marshmallows with the rest of her super healthy breakfast.

Ethan has a more annoying habit. He loves to chew up his food and spit it back out and then after it sits on his plate for a while he eats again . . . baby bird style! It is so appetizing to dine with him. Sometimes he spits food back out and all over his shirt. He is also quite fond of spitting out milk or juice all over his shirt. I do my best to ignore it because he watches to see if you are looking at him and then proceeds to regurgitate, smiling the entire the time. Aaron has a hard time with this and cannot help but make comments to him which of course makes a toddler (well, this toddler) want to do it all the more. I really don't know why he does it other than to get some extra attention. I'm hoping he'll get tired of it soon all though it's been going on a few months now. I certainly don't like to take him to restaurants when he's doing that.

Caden doesn't have too much of an obsession other than asking for "snacks" about every hour. He's cut back a bit on it but sometimes it seems he won't give up. When my kids say "snacks" they mean snacks and not a meal. Many times they are getting hungry because it is getting close to a mealtime and I will say I'm fixing you breakfast or lunch right now. And that is not the answer they are looking for and we have some tantrums. So I guess I will just start calling pancakes, pot roast, hamburgers, mac and cheese "snacks" and that will solve the problem.

So today I am off to clean the playroom and living room floors of all the regurgitated drinks and food, smarshmallows, and snacks. They are so bad you cannot touch any surface without becoming sticky -- so glad we had hardwoods and not carpet (we would need to replace carpeting monthly here). Not exactly how I'd like to spend some of my nap time today but that's the price I pay for being a mommy and having kids with poor eating habits!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Live Strong

Here's the layout that I did about Ethan's determination that was inpired by the preschool car wash days where he thought it was super fun to run from his pregnant mom. I think it turned out pretty good considering I didn't really "scraplift" (that's copying for you non-scrappers) this idea. It's the first time I used ghost letters (clear letters that say "strong) and I love them.

The journaling at the bottom reads:

Determined . . . strong-willed . . . stubborn . . .

you definitely know what you want even if you can't tell us in words. There are times we get very frustrated with you because if ou have your mind made up -- that's it, you're not giving up! It's in those frustrating times that I remind myself this determination is what kept all 2 lbs 6 oz of you alive and I 'm sure this trait is an asset that will take you far in your life!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Name Game

Aaron and I haven't been discussing baby names at all. That is because when we got pregnant last summer, the very next day he picked out a girl and a boy's name that we both surprisingly liked and agreed on, done and said! Then when we found out we were pregnant this time he just said we would use those names again since the last pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. So the other night I said to him, "What are the names we chose?" He could remember the girl's name -- it's one we both liked and had as an extra with the triplet pregnancy, just in case. However, he couldn't remember the boy one. Then he said, "Well, you don't remember either." But I do remember and told him the boy name and he said "It's okay". So I don't think we are set on a boy's name. If he can't remember it, will he forget the baby's name? Probably not, but if it's not one he is loving then I say let's pick another. We do have another one in mind we both like. Boys' names are so much harder than girl names in my opinion. So we are going to have to do some thinking just to be sure and time is getting near and I really want to have names picked out before the baby's arrival and not have that as a stress after the baby is here. Oh and as you can tell we are not sharing our name choices until the baby is born. We don't want to know what people think, since I think other people's opinions may influence our choices if they say "I don't like that one or that reminds me of . . ." We are not asking for suggestions from anyone either . . . we want it to be our own choice. So if you have a name you just love then have a baby, get a cat, buy a plant, or name a pet rock and use your favorite in that way.
We didn't have a super hard time picking out names with the trio. I had an ongoing list before we found out what the genders were. Aaron pretty much had no ideas and hated most of the ones I picked. It was so much easier once we knew there were 2 boys and a girl. I really am against finding out the sex of babies ahead of time but with triplets it does make it harder and we would have had to have 6 first and middle names picked out, 3 was tough enough. Addison was a green light immediately when I found it in a baby book. We both loved it. It was not a popular name at all now I think I know at least 6 Addisons. We found Ethan's name in the Pottery Barn catalog. It was spelled out on a nursery wall and we both liked it. His name is perfect for him as it means "strong", "firm" and "constant" -- all those words describe him to a T from the second he was born and still define him to this day. Now Caden was the hard one. I liked it and wanted Kade but Aaron wasn't sure of that and he said we can only use the name Caden if we spell it with a "C" and he wasn't keen on calling him Cade. Not sure why all that mattered but it did. I still love all their names and don't wish they were any different but now we need the perfect one for #4 . . . better dig out those baby name books again!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

100 days Countdown!

As of today I have 100 days left of this pregnancy (give or take a few). I'm starting to get really excited. I'm not nervous about the birth, just the baby's health -- hoping that everything is okay but what mom doesn't worry about that. I really want to enjoy the whole experience too and get to know this baby from the get-go and not have nurses tell me about his/her personality or what they like/dislike as it happened with the triplets. Don't get me wrong I loved our NICU nurses but it just isn't the same when your baby is on a different hospital floor from you and it takes days or weeks before you can hold the baby. I want that immediate bonding experience that I didn't get with the triplets. It seemed like since they were in the hospital from 2 to 6 weeks, even when they came home it took forever for me to feel connected to them: part hormones, part exhaustion, part 3 babies require a lot of tending to and you don't get much let me just sit here and look at you and fall in love with you time.

I am not concerned about the taking care of the baby part either. I think I can do that with my hands tied behind my back (which in 100 days I'm sure the triplets will have mastered by then). What I am mainly concerned is how all this is going to fall into place with what we already have going on here. We have a pretty good thing going on. The kids can play independently when needed, we can go places fairly easily without much fuss, they take great naps, and are learning new things all the time but geez let's add another person in here who isn't going to be doing any of those things and it kind of shakes up "the system". That's the part I'm not so sure of. I really don't think Addison, Ethan, and Caden will be too jealous either. They have always had to share me and Aaron with each other and they all seem to like babies for the most part but we'll see. It's that part of the unknown that is a little scary but it will all work out.

I think this may be our last one (although lately I sometimes think Oh, just one more . . .) so I really want to enjoy the "newborn" part which I really didn't do with the triplets. I barely can remember much about their first 3 months at all. I was just so tired and busy. I ran across a blog by a triplet mom who just gave birth to her fourth and after reading how great having one baby is after triplets I am so excited and I hope my experience is just as great as hers. Here's her post about her gift if you'd like to check it out. I know I can't wait for my gift to arrive!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Birthday Planning is in full swing . . .

I'm such a dork that yesterday I started planning the trio's 3rd Birthday party. Actually a couple months ago I compiled all my ideas that I found on the internet that I may want to use. Now I am doing to the actual planning of our party. I pretty much know the menu, what decorations, how I will make the invites, etc. I LOVE planning their birthday party; I think it is so much fun. I love to make everything myself from the invites, to the decorations, and even the cake even though everything looks handmade and not so perfect I love it that way. I always have a theme. I have had our 3rd birthday theme picked out since before they turned two and I also know what our 4th birthday party theme will be too. A little obsessive? Yes, but I know MY TIME is limited on picking out themes before I am told "I want a Barbie having a tea party riding horses party" or "I want a Spiderman goes to the moon party" etc. So I am picking out the themes I like, plus our themes are somewhat limited since it has to work for both genders. Last year we did cowboys & cowgirls. I loved it! I'm not sharing my theme for this year yet as I like it to be a surprise. We even went shopping today and I got some of the supplies I needed. I usually do get started in September even though their birthday isn't until November 5 because it gives me enough time to work on all the homemade things and gather things up (even though I have been picking up things as I see them for about a year already), not to mention thoroughly cleaning my house takes me 2 weeks (it's the only time it gets thoroughly cleaned) and Halloween is a week before their birthday. This year will be even more challenging since I will be 9 months pregnant at the time of their birthday so I'd better get as much done as I can in case I start to get really tired and lazy soon.

You may be wondering who gets this "jazzed" about their children's party? Well, I do. Why? I think it's because I never had a birthday party when I was little. We had some family get-togethers with some of my mom's family-- like cake and ice cream but I never had a PARTY. When I was a little older I would get to have one of my friends spend the night but I wouldn't consider one friend a party. I remember my sisters having a party or two at Happy Joe's Pizza, a pre-Chucky Cheese kid place with several of their friends but I never got to do that. Am I a little bitter? Yeah, a little, but I just want my kids to know how glad I am that I have gotten to spend another year with them. It's a celebration of their life just as a birthday should be. I waited a long time to be a mom and their birthday is more special to me than them, I'm sure. Although this year they are excited about it. We were talking about their birthday at dinner last night. I was telling them about it and Addison said "A party? for me, for me?" I told them we would play a couple games too and Caden proceeded to dance around the table saying "Play Games!" It's going to be a long wait for them and for me too!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Workin' at the Car Wash, Yeah, Come on and Sing it with Me, Car Wash

The last few weeks of school we have had a water day once a week. The last 3 times, the teacher, Alison, had the great idea of having a "Car Wash" in the front driveway of the building. What fun this was! Okay my children never really washed anything . . . maybe that's because I have probably washed the van approximately 5 times since they have been born and never, ever by hand (I'm not crazy!). Even without doing the "work" of washing the play cars, this was a lot of fun running in the puddles, playing with the hose, and riding the toys. Addison even got in the bucket along with other kids that held the sponges.

My only problem was that Ethan thought it was fun to run away. Each time we had car wash day he would run down the circle drive (to the parking lot and the road) more and more. And I'm sure I'm quite the sight to the other parents running with my 6 month pregnant body down the looooooong driveway after him and believe me he can run very fast and I cannot. Yesterday, he sat in timeout on a bench twice then he sat in the van for a few minutes at a time about 3 times. We have 2 new moms who only speak Spanish and they just kept looking at me as I stood by the van with my screaming child in it . . . they probably thought I was mean but he is so determined and will not give up once he gets his mind set on something! I have a scrapbook page in mind about this and may even work on it today while it's so fresh in my mind. Even with Runaway Boy it was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm in LOVE . . .

with my photographer! Seriously! We went in July to have some Daddy & Us photos taken and I wanted a family portrait too because we have never, ever had one done. They turned out so great. I told him I didn't care about smiles or even all people looking at the camera . . . all I wanted was all 5 of us in the shot . . . after all you can't be too picky when you are dealing with 3 two-year-olds. I know how hard it is just to get them all to stay in the same place! The kids loved the photo shoot. Every time the camera took a picture the big umbrella lights flashed and Ethan would clap and jump and cheer (we definitely need to get these kids out more often). The photos turned out so wonderful. I love their casual style . . . exactly what I was looking for.
I have been to a lot of professional photographers since the kids have been born (matter of fact I have never been to chain places like Sears, Walmart, etc -- nothing against those places but just never have done it) and Dave is by sure the best one I have dealt with. He is so friendly, his fees and pricing are very reasonable, and as you can see he can work miracles even with triplet toddlers! I love that he gave me a portfolio to take home to examine AND put all the photos online so family and friends could view them without me traveling all over to show our book. He even gives a 10% discount if you order within 2 weeks. He's a dream come true! My order came in within 1-1/2 weeks even though they told me it would be 3 weeks. Another aspect that I really like is that he doesn't charge to change the coloring of photos to black and white or sepia or spot color. Some photographers I've been to wanted to charge me $20 per pose to change the color when we all know it's basically pushing a button on the computer to do it. So I am totally advertising for Shooting Stars Photography in Macomb, Illinois. If you live even remotely close, it's worth the drive. I plan on going back in October to get some maternity photos with Aaron and the kids. I know my pregnant belly isn't very pretty but I'm sure Dave can work wonders with it. He's now our photographer! Too bad we're both already married and I think he has 5 kids. That's how Aaron could be perfect . . . he needs to be a great photographer!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tummy Update and Selfish Breastfeeding

Here's me at 25 weeks. Growing right along. We qualify for the WIC program which gives the kids and I nutritious food to help us less fortunate people stay healthy and last week I had an appointment to get weighed and make sure I was eating properly for a pregnant woman. They told me I had gained 10 pounds and I needed to gain more. Whatever . . . I get so sick of eating sometimes I finally just go to bed so I don't have to eat again -- don't you think the "EAT" word above my head is so appropriate? Aaron didn't even notice that when he took the photo. My OB doctor is not concerned about my weight and neither am I. I gained 62 pounds with the triplets (and delivered them 7 weeks early); breastfeeding (well pumping) helped me lose that weight and I actually ended up 4 pounds thinner than my skinniest ever. What motivation to breastfeed, huh? Plus you can eat and eat and eat and still all those calories seem to go into the production of milk. So I am planning on breastfeeding mostly for selfish reasons and the baby will get the benefit of it too. Plus I am SO OVER making formula, preparing bottles, messing with the bottles, rings, nipples, caps, and all the other numerous paraphernalia that goes with bottle feeding. I used to have to make it by the gallons with the triplets and mix it with pumped breast milk and I would have to do it at least once, sometimes twice, a day. Plus the waiting for it to warm up and getting all those bottles in the dishwasher. It exhausts me just thinking about it but I know this is only one baby and I don't have to make formula by the gallon but I am going to try to breastfeed for at least 6 months (or more) just for convenience sakes and maybe I'll lose weight more quickly to fit back into regular clothes. Of course, breastfeeding will not fix my lovely "triplet tummy" -- I wish -- but it's nice after being pregnant to feel a little back to normal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Finally an Update!

Sorry I if I don't blog every day or two it gets away from me and pretty soon it's been weeks since I've updated! I have a Level 3 sonogram last week to check the baby's heart to make sure all things were looking good and working correctly and they were. It was nice to check things out again too and I'm guessing that will probably be the last time I see the baby on screen ~ next time will be in person! As an extra bonus they measure all parts of the baby and were able to tell me approximately how much this little baby weighs. A whopping 1 pound 7 ounces! I was shocked thinking how huge I am and that it must be a linebacker or something. Turns out that is exactly what the baby should weigh at this stage in the game but just for kicks I came home and looked up sonograms for the trio at 24 weeks gestation. Caden was 1 lb 12oz, Addison was 1 lb 10 oz, and Ethan was 1 lb 6 oz. I was a tad bit shocked thinking that how could multiples weigh the same or more as one baby but then some triplet moms on TC helped me remember that multiples tend to do same or better than singletons. Multiples know they are multiples and have to fight for everything from the beginning (and believe me 2-1/2 years later my multiples are still fighting for everything-- arrrrgggghhh!) so they grow bigger and faster. Anyway I still can't believe that I had 4 lb 12 oz of baby in me at this same time in the triplet pregnancy. I should just shut up about how big I am and I am big but who cares: I feel pretty good, I'm not on bedrest, and not in the hospital! And in case you are wondering about the above sonogram photo that is the baby's leg going over its body and it's foot was in his/her face the whole time -- comfortable huh?

Just look at the size of that foot -- it has my feet just like Caden!

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Splashin' Good Time

The kids love to swim. Well, maybe they love to jump in the pool is a better way to describe their activities in the pool. This may not be the most safe way to play but it's hard to stop them. They stand on the edge and jump in. I would think it hurts and many times their head goes all the way under the water but they just get back up and do it again. Lots of fun and splashing ~ don't get to close or you'll get wet!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


When I waiting at one of 3 doctor's appointments this week ( and I've done a lot of waiting) I read an article entitled this. I thought I have this -- I have momfidence! For about the last year and half I have totally felt different about myself and my life. Now I don't know if it's having kids that did it or my age or just that I have accepted things about myself and am happy ~ it's probably a combo of it all. I remember in college I had a French teacher who talked about this sort of thing one day (I have no idea why) and she asked the class at what age they thought they would really feel like they have really have it all together? Some of the class answered 21 or 25 which I thought was funny cause I was almost 24 then (yeah it took me a while to get through college but I worked the whole time I went). The teacher said she thought it was 35 when it felt like you had it all together . . . her reasons were much different than mine (career was going, kids were older, she had been married/divorced) but I think she was definitely right about the age at least in my case. I just feel like I have it altogether in an unorganized sort of way. Now a lot of people would disagree with that statement: my house is far from spotless, I don't dress the part or do my hair/makeup very much, sometimes we can barely pay our bills, the kids can be wild, I forget stuff, my husband and I fight like crazy {Aaron and I are pretty much the "Barones" from Everybody loves Raymond doesn't matter which couple, we are all of them}. . . but you know I'm happy. I know what's important in life. I don't worry about things like money, how I look, or a picture perfect house -- those things aren't important at all no matter how you look at it. Sure it would be great if we had more money, I looked like a model, or my house was magically clean but really in the whole scheme of things it's so unimportant. All I really care about is that my family is happy and healthy. The time I spend with my husband and kids is really important. Liking myself is really important. Now I don't have all the answers to everything but I have stopped worrying about what others think about me and that is like a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders. I am confident in my major decisions but I don't pretend to know all the answers (my Amazon order of 3 discipline books I placed yesterday proves that). I seem to attract a lot of people who feel necessary to give me advice on child raising (I guess I appear as though I need some with 3-1/2 kids). I find it funny that many people feel they are "experts" on raising kids. Most people don't really get that what works with one child many times doesn't really apply when you have multiples. The logistics just don't work out the same way and, believe me, I've tried. I really don't care what others think of me because they aren't living my life. So here I come with less than styled hair, no make-up, stained t-shirt, 3 screaming wild 2 year olds in tow, and looking really pregnant (enough that most people look shocked when I say I'm due in December). I'm sure they are thinking I'm glad I'm not her and I feel the same way; I want to be me and not have to try really hard to do that; you shouldn't have to. My life is real and I don't try to pretend otherwise and I do have "MOMFIDENCE".

Thanks, Grammy, for the cute boots. (I guess the kids discovered these accidentally the other day and had to have them). The kids love them and have been wearing them around the house the last few days. We are just waiting for rain so we can play in the mud!!!