Monday, January 28, 2008

How to Look Good Naked

While I was scrapbooking the other night, I was flipping through the channels for some decent background noise which I must have and came across the show “How to Look Good Naked” on the Lifetime Channel. I had seen this show advertised previously and took notice of it mostly because Carson Kressley from the “Queer Eye” show was the host and I enjoyed him on that show so I thought I would watch it.
I think this is a great show. Basically it is “What Not to Wear” mellowed out. The show teaches the woman to work with what she has when it comes to her body and dress according instead of thinking of change such as I need to lose weight, I need plastic surgery, I need to shape up, etc. The difference with this show is that the woman’s photo (body, no face) only in bra and underwear is put up on a HUGE building in New York and they stop people on the street ask them what they think of the woman. Sounds like a nightmare right? Well they show the woman what the people say (of course they only show the woman and the viewing audience positive things) but the moral of the story is our self perception of our body is much WORSE than what others think of it. This show is just as much of a confidence builder as it is here’s some tips on how to emphasize your best parts and downplay the ones you don’t want to bring attention to.
Now these woman looked pretty good to me although size 4 and 19 years old they were not but to me even though they were not super thin it was obvious they had not had a multiple pregnancy. Boy, is my stomach in poor shape. It was in pretty bad shape after the triplets. I gained a total of 69 pounds in about 19 weeks (I lost weight the first 14 weeks). I am only 5’2” so I don’t have a long torso at all. I have a lot of extra skin and stretch marks from that pregnancy but then even my 6 pound Reese made it all worse and I’m not sure how maybe because I was pregnant with her longer but I only gained 18 pounds with her. I remember when I went back to my regular OB after the triplets were born for my check up, he had been in practice for at least 20 years and probably had seen hundreds of post partum bodies but he actually gasped when he saw my stomach and then said something like “You’ve got some stretch marks, don’t you?” That makes you feel so great. At my check up the other day, my doctor asked me if I felt like I had my body back. I said “I will never have my body back” (like my sister said “That’s such a man thing to say” and it is). Not that I ever had some rockin’ body before children but I now think it was pretty great in comparison to what I currently have. I personally think if you saw Kate on “Jon & Kate plus 8” when she showed her post sextuplet tummy on TV she doesn’t have anything on me -- not quite sure how she had twice as many babies as me and mine is worse. I haven’t shown anyone my belly except gasping doctors and Aaron but heck I’d show the world my stomach if I got a free tummy tuck like Kate (plus throw in a breast lift).
Now don’t get me wrong my wrecked body is a small price to pay for having the gift of 4 wonderful and healthy kids and Aaron never says anything about how I have changed or “Cover up, you’re blinding me” but it would be nice to wear clothes that fit correctly instead of having to buy pants 2 sizes too big so they fit my stomach but then they are HUGE in the rear. I’ve had people ask me when I was due when I wasn’t pregnant LONG after the triplets were born too so shirts tend to be an issue also {I’ll spare you the issues about my chest – you’re welcome}. But I did get some good tips from this show and may try a few new types of clothing on just to see. But in the meantime, maybe I will try to think of my “flaws” as my “badges” for having children. Maybe I will just try to be more positive. People are always complementing me on how great I look after they find out I have triplets, not quite sure how to take that maybe I should be REALLY HUGE or considering I have 4 kids it's just a miracle I have clothes on and I combed my hair? After nine weeks after having Reese I am 5 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight (which was my lowest weight ever). And I am also investing in some Spanx (until I get that tummy tuck)!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blah . . . Butch . . . Birthday

I am just having one of those days/weekends where I just feel blah . . . not sick or anything, just not myself at the moment. Everything is on my nerves last night and today. House is a mess (nothing new there), I have a million things to do and not sure when or how it will get done, I hate my wardrobe at this second, I want to scrapbook but there's no time, kids are constantly interrupting me no matter what I'm doing, I feel like I'm not being a very good mommy or wife, basically it's just regular ordinary life. I think I'm sick of winter and the cold although it's about 30 degrees warmer than a few days ago still really cold here. We go back to school tomorrow and looks like Aaron may go back to work in a couple weeks {hopefully}. Keely and her boys are coming for a few days this week while her husband is out of town. I think that will cheer me up some . . . I'm sure we'll at least get a chance to scrapbook some . . . that should put me in a better mood.

I finally took Ethan to get his hair cut. It was out of control. He twists his hair when he sucks his thumb. It's been about 4 months since the kids had their hair cut. His hair is really fine but has a little bit of curl to it. It was getting so long that he twisted it into knots and had some crazy dreadlocks thing going on. There was no combing it out so I had to cut it out; I was afraid he was going to have a HUGE bald spot on top of his head. We get the kids hair cut at the local beauty college and it only costs $5 per person. I had them cut it so short that he couldn't twist it anymore. The money we are saving now we can use for the therapy he'll need because we did that . . . oh well. . . Here's the before and after:

Reese is 2 months old today. I can't believe how fast time has gone. She is so sweet and loves to smile and sleeping a ton which I am not complaining about one bit. She is a little hard to get to sleep at night seems like she goes to bed around 11/12 and then normally only wakes up around 5/6 to eat and goes back to bed until about 9. I think that's pretty good for a 2 month old. She is becoming quite the ham for the camera too.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More Layouts!

I've finally had some time to scrapbook. I've made 3 layouts this week. Feels good to get back into the groove again. Here's a couple of my creations:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

She laughed!

Reese laughed at me today -- twice! I growled at her and she laughed (I don't normally growl at my children). It was probably just a fluke and I doubt I will get her to do it again anytime soon but it was a laugh. She also loves watching her toys now and discovers that she has hands and enjoys looking at them. Sorry, if you read my blog you will probably get sick of "guess what Reese is doing now" entries but this is all so new for me and I am enjoying her so much -- I have to share!

Bad News

We got some yucky news on Monday. Aaron came home and said he was laid off again. He's a union plumber and this has happened to us approximately 458 times I swear. The first 7 months of the triplets' lives he worked on and off, mostly off. We struggled a lot during that time but we made it through. You'd think we'd be more prepared and have a "just in case stash" since this happens quite a bit, but we don't. He makes really good money when he works, but the key is he isn't able to work 40 hours a week. Don't get me wrong, he's not lazy, he is AT work way more than 40 hours a week but he works as a service plumber which means he can only get paid for the hours he can charge a customer (we average a 30 hour paycheck -- which means he's donating 10+ hours a week to plumbing -- yeah!). So when he loading his van, driving back to the shop, getting parts, he can't charge the customer and it adds up. We seldom have a 40 hour check so we live paycheck to paycheck and now there's no paychecks. Something will probably come in a week or two (we hope) but in the meantime please think positive thoughts that something will come up for us soon!

Enough about bad news. What do you think Ethan is doing here? He's in trouble? He's sad? He's comtemplating the meaning of life?

No he's waiting on a train! He can do this for hours . . . just sit and watch it go and yes he must get down on the train's level to watch it or it's not the same.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Happy Pooper makes a Happy Mama!

Boys are soooooooooooooooooooo hard to potty train in comparison to girls. For Addison, I basically made a sticker chart gave her a few Reese's Pieces and she never looked back. Oh sure, she has an accident once in a blue moon but she refused to wear pull ups or diapers at bedtime after she got the hang of it and that was it. Then there's the boys . . . to even get them to sit on the potty is a major feat. I had a HUGE stockpile of pull-ups, thanks to some great coupons from the coupon queen herself, Keely, and some lucky clearance prices this summer. Caden was more than content to wear pull-ups and it didn't help that they put his favorite guys: Diego, Spiderman, and Hulk on them. Finally we ran out of boy pull-ups so I told him he has to wear underwear except at night. So a few days into this, he has pooped in his underwear quite a bit. I hate cleaning it out and have had him help me a little. He has been getting the hang of going potty though but tonight went upstairs to get ready for bed and he didn't make it. Being the end of the day, Aaron has no patience left and after a lecture he put him on the potty. He went again and surprise there was poop in there for the first time! It was a total accident but who cares, we broke the ice maybe he will be more willing! He got 4 M&Ms for that and was he happy!!!!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful friend, Nancy! She is such a bubbly, fun person! She and my other equally wonderful friend, Alyce, have been coming to my house to babysit the trio since they were about 9 months I think (Nancy's in orange and Alyce is in blue and I'm super pregnant in this photo). I used to teach with both these ladies and now they are retired. They are so sweet to offer to come watch the kids to give me some me time! I usually go run errands or shop but when I was really pregnant they offered to come and I would go upstairs and nap, isn't that great? I loved it! Both of them are so kind to come help me especially when they have their own families and grandchildren to babysit. I keep telling them they don't have to keep coming but they say they like to see the kids and see each other. They both came today even Nancy on her birthday. Nancy currently has a son with some very serious health concerns and I know it has been hard on her -- please say a few prayers for her family!

During my "free time" today I got my haircut! I hadn't had it cut since October and I needed it. Total new "style" for me. But Stephanie, my hairstylist, swears this is an easy do -- basically wash and dry and you're done. This is super important to me because I don't even get to shower every day anymore and forget using a curling iron to try to do something with my stick straight hair. We'll see what happens when I "try" to do it as I have a hair disability!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Was I sick!!!!

Oh my, on Friday I was REALLY sick! On Thursday night I went to bed around 10:30 because I started feeling like I could be getting the flu. At 11:30 I had about 10 blankets on and was freezing but didn't think too much of it because first it was about 2 degrees outside and second our house is always cold in the winter. At 1:30 I woke Aaron up because I was still just as cold and hadn't gone to sleep yet. He got me some Tylenol and wanted to call 911 -- he typically panics. I had a really tender spot on one of my breasts. I had just been to my OB-GYN doctor that afternoon for my after baby check-up and he told me if I had severe pain in my breasts and flu-like symptoms to call the office right away. So at 2am I got out my medical books and looked up mastitis (infected milk ducts). I finally got a couple hours of sleep but felt worse in the morning. I decided we weren't going to preschool and called my OB as soon as they opened and 2 hours later they called back and said take Tylenol and use warm moist compresses on my breast. I did this all day while laying on the couch and trying to get the kids to sit and relax with me (yeah, right). This was one of those days that I wished Aaron had paid sick days so he could have stayed home, but he doesn't so I made do. By the time my doctor office closed my breast was swollen and really red. I ended up going to a walk in clinic and got some antibiotics. Within 12 hours of my first dose, I felt almost completely better! I don't ever want that to happen again -- it's enough to make you say forget breastfeeding altogether. I wish my doctor had prescribed me something too I guess he thought I had a clogged milk duct, not an infection. I can't imagine going all weekend without medication -- I could be dead by now without antibiotics I think.

It is so cold here. I think about 20 or 30 below with the windchill. I haven't gone anywhere all weekend since the doctor on Friday night. The kids were wanting to go to preschool and Grammy's on Friday so badly -- Addison cried several times on Friday when I said we couldn't go. Aaron was so nice yesterday when he offered to take all 3 older kids to Farm King to get the oil changed -- I was shocked because I've done this a million times and it is NO FUN at all but he did and only took the double stroller instead of the wagon. He even said they were good which he never says about them going out. Then today he took them to his parents so he could watch football with his dad. The baby and I stayed home and I scrapbooked (yeah!) and enjoyed some quiet time!

Aaron had an unexpected day off last Thursday before we had Arctic weather and it snowed about 1/8". Since the kids have hardly had the chance to go outside before it's either too cold or they are sick, he finally agreed to take them out for a little bit. They had fun and he even pulled them around in a sled but I missed that part because my camera batteries died. They made snow angels and tried to make snow balls but it was more like snow confetti since it wouldn't stick together. After about 20 minutes Aaron was more than read to come back in. That was about 20 minutes less than it took to dress them (snowpants, hats, boots, gloves x 3). They had fun though!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Here's some happiness for today

Here's why you don't let a 3 year old get up ahead of you. Caden is really independent and since I'm feeling lazy and tired in the morning I usually let him go downstairs by himself. He gets his cup of strawberry milk out of fridge that Daddy made for him earlier and the last couple days he gets out a bowl and some crackers (breakfast of champions) and pours himself some snacks. He goes in the playroom and watches TV and eats. Well, today I opened the fridge and noticed he had some leftover cheesecake too . . . finger food I guess.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Don't want to forget

Sometimes I think why do I blog -- who cares about my boring life other than our immediate family. Well someone must read it because I have over 4000 hits and I know I read other people's blogs -- you just get addicted to someone else's life I guess. Mostly I am just doing it for me, I plan to make my blog into a book (there's companies that do this) and that way I can remember and look back at my life later on. Yesterday I took a bunch of photos that show some of the kids' daily life and things I would probably forget if I didn't document it somewhere. Enjoy!

Here's Ethan showing what a great home decorator he would be. He likes to pile all the dollhouse furniture in one room and try to close the big door and gets really mad when he can't -- hoarding issues, big time.

Here's some more hoarding going on. He took stuffed toys one by one (and we have A LOT) upstairs and put them in his bed. I had to empty out his crib before he came up for bedtime. He made a lot of trips upstairs this day.

Look at his hair. He needs it cut so bad and it is so long now that he has twisted one spot on top into a huge dread lock. It will have to be cut out but it's a big one this time. When we went to the doctor yesterday, the receptionist asked what did he do to his hair?

Addison is playing with string cheese here. She was acting out a whole scene like the pieces were two characters. I don't know why we buy toys! She has quite the imagination.

Caden loves the Football Guys that Aunt Ashley and her family gave him for Christmas. This is his all time favorite toy. He constantly sets them up (because everyone else walks all over the field). He tries to take them everywhere too.

Reese had her first real bath yesterday. I know, she is 8 weeks old but I have been bathing her just sponge bath style. I finally had Aaron dig up the baby bath tub yesterday. She loves bath time. I really can't think of much she doesn't like (except getting her nose cleaned out).

How could you not love this face? He's knows he's cute!

Another BIG step for me

Well I did it! Another milestone reached for me. I took all 4 kids to the doctor by myself yesterday and here's the BIG part I didn't use a stroller or wagon. Can you believe it? Actually the plan had been to use our double stroller as our choo choo wagon is hard to maneuver in the elevator we have to take: I can get it in there no problem but it's getting it out that's the issue and you practically have to pull it out backwards and feel pressured to do it before the elevator door closes all the while carrying a diaper bag and Reese in a carseat! I thought I would put Ethan (also known as Run Away Boy) and Reese in our double stroller and Caden and Addison would walk. Well it was COLD here yesterday. I was going to have to take Reese out of her carset and put her in the stroller and Ethan would have had to be sitting in the stroller waiting for me to get her in the stroller and to unbuckle Caden and Addison too. We would have all been freezing. So at the last minute I decided the older kids could walk and I would just carry the carseat. It went okay . . . Aaron would have had a heart attack if he saw us because there's no way to hold everyone's hand and carry the carseat and diaper bag. I held Ethan's hand and the other two slowly followed behind . . . 3 year olds are in no hurry when you are. It went fine. Now I'm not ready to do this all the time but at least I know I can do it that's the biggest obstacle of all is just knowing it is possible. Addison has an eye doctor appointment today and I'm not sure if we are using the stroller or not but at least I know I can handle it if I have to.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reese Notes

Reese is just growing. She just started smiling at people last week. She really likes to smile at Caden the most but I've gotten a couple out of her. I think she thinks of me as the "milk machine" and doesn't care as much about my face as other parts of my body. She starting to notice toys and looking at them and "talking" to them some. She loves to watch TV so she should fit into this family just fine. I kind of quit trying to get her to sleep in her crib since she had a stuffy nose and I worried about her breathing and being sick. But she has become one of those mommy magnets at night and no matter how many times I scooted her back to the middle of the bed within a short time she is back to clinging up against me and I can't sleep well. So last night I fed her at 11:30 and put her in her crib only took her about 20 minutes to go to sleep and I think Aaron and I got up a total of 3 times to put the paci back in but she slept until 3:45 and ate and went right back to sleep. She was our alarm at 7 this morning which was a good thing because the alarm clock didn't go off and Aaron was late. She did such a good job sleeping and I slept so much better without her in our bed. We are off to the doctor today to get trio's ears rechecked. I'll update later . . .
ETA: Caden still has one ear infected and Ethan's ear infection was worse. So we are back on medication. Which should be fun because Ethan spits medicine back at us. Last time we were on a 5 day once a day antibiotic. Now we are going to take something twice a day for 10 days. Dr. Larson offered to give them a shot which would have been great except we had to wait 20 minutes in the office after the shot. It was nap time and the kids hadn't eaten lunch yet so I thought it would have been a nightmare since I was there with all 4 by myself. Hopefully this medicine does the trick I am tired of sick kids!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekends Go Fast!

My new favorite photo -- just the girls!

How does time go so fast? I don't know, the weekends especially seem to just fly by. Keely made it down for our crop. We were only a 1/2 hour late and wouldn't have been but Reese had her 1 month checkup (about 2 weeks late) and there must be a ton of sickness going around because I had to wait for over an hour for our doctor to come in. Totally not her fault and I wasn't mad especially since she said "Reese was perfect". Her head grew 6 cm in 7 weeks so she is going to have a bucket head like Addison and Caden I guess. But she now weighs 8lbs 6 oz and grew 1 inch to be 20 inches long so looks like she's going to be short like everyone else in this family (except my Grandma, Monica, and Caden). Anyway we left all 4 kids with Aaron (whose exact words were when I asked if I could leave Reese at home "Why do I have to watch 4 kids?") and we went to the crop. I only got one page completely done but I started about 4 more layouts. It's hard because you can't take all your supplies and as you work on stuff you think oh I need this or that, of course, you can buy supplies there while you work but if you already have some items at home it doesn't make sense to buy more. I only bought paper (my biggest downfall in scrapbooking) and spent about $12 and used a $10 gift certificate so I did well. Keely did about 3 layouts. The baby did fine without me and Aaron survived with 4 kids just as I do everyday too. Here's the the layout I finished and I completed another one today (click on the photos to see them bigger).

We finally had to give up our little picnic table that we bought when the kids were one. It was just too small even for 2 people to sit at. The kids don't really have anywhere to sit in their playroom except Daddy's recliner and they aren't so keen on sitting in it together unless Daddy is sitting with them then all 3 are piled on his lap. So I started looking for a little table. I wanted a folding table just so we could fold it up and store it if we wanted to. They aren't that easy to find. At some places it was going to cost $50 for a table and 4 chairs -- I think I could buy an adult one for that. Keely, the bargain shopper, found one at Big Lots (my Big Lots didn't have one) for $30. They kids love it. Now they have a place to sit and watch TV and play in our playroom. They are loving eating at the table too -- Aaron said we'll probably never see them at the dining room table again.

The kids are enjoying the new play closet in their room. They have been pretty good about playing nicely upstairs without constant supervision. Ethan likes to lay in his crib and then he decides to fill it up and when I say fill it up, I mean it. When I went up there the other day, he had emptied one and half book shelves and both Addison and Caden's beds and put everything in his bed. There was about 2 feet worth of stuff. Addison just about had a heart attack when she realized her stuff was gone and I had to sneak up there when Ethan was downstairs and empty it out. I've caught him coming downstairs to get stuff to put in his bed too not just toys either anything not nailed down is fair game. Now I am trying to zip up the crib tent before he goes up there so he doesn't keep filling up his bed. He is my hoarder! I hope he outgrows this -- all summer he liked pushing the play grocery cart up and down the sidewalk combine this with his hoarding tendencies and he may grow up to be a homeless person (just kidding).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Finally . . . some scrapbooking!

I just decided that yesterday I was going to scrapbook during the kids' naps no matter what else I needed to do. I had to sacrifice my every other day shower (that's all I have time for most of the time) to do it too. I finished it today (click on the photo to see it larger). It's a total scraplift but I'm glad I got one done. I enjoy it so much . . . but it's really hard to do when your scrapbook area and materials are a total mess. I showed the kids and they liked it but Addison said "Where's Addison's?" so I guess I better get going on all of the Santa photos. Should be able to do it though because Keely and I signed up for a crop this Friday at Scrapaganza. Can you believe this will be my first real crop ever (taken classes just never been to a crop)? She's driving up here 3 hours just to go to this -- we are excited!

My Favorite Show

I love, love, love the show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" on the Discovery channel. If you haven't heard of the Gosselins, they are a family from Pennsylvania with 7 year old twin girls and 3 year old sextuplets (3 boys, 3 girls). I love reality TV (way too much) but some shows aren't all that "real" but this one is! Mostly it is my favorite show because I can relate to it on so many levels. First the multiples thing -- of course the Gosselins have twice as many kids as we do but still multiples are multiples. It's nice to see how they handle things like going to the zoo, shopping on a budget, organization, bedroom arrangements, potty training, etc. I get a lot of ideas and tips from them. I also find it reassuring that Kate has a lot of the same concerns with their kids I have with ours. For example, there was an episode where she was concerned that she wasn't treating the sextuplets the same as she would treat one 3 year old. This is something I worry about too -- my kids hardly ever get the chance to walk in a store or when we are out. They are normally in our choo choo wagon or double stroller. It's a safety thing but if I only had one 3 year old I would probably never consider hauling that child around in a stroller everywhere we went. Sometimes I feel I am holding back their development because there are 3 of them the same age but then again there is only so much time in the day and I only have a certain amount of patience. Apparently, most 3 year olds can dress themselves. Addison can with a little help with the pants/underwear part but Caden and Ethan really can't do much in this area. I am asked about this at every appointment that tracks their development. Now it doesn't seem too big a deal right? Just let them try everyday and they will get it before long. But it is a big deal because I have to do everything times 3 and now some things times 4 if I took the time to let each one of them try to dress themselves everyday I would have to sacrifice getting other things accomplished not to mention the fact that many days we have to be somewhere by a certain time and I don't have time for them to practice themselves. I used to get upset when I was told the kids should be doing this or that by now but now I just blow it off. It will happen just not on everyone else's schedule but on ours unless those people want to come over and spend a couple days with us then they'll see it's not as easy as they think.
I get asked a lot when people find out that we have triplets if I watch "Jon & Kate Plus 8". Many people find Kate to be overly organized and obsessed about some things like cleaning. I don't find it that odd it's just a condition that goes along with having multiples. I think as soon as you are outnumbered by children the same age you MUST have certain schedules and organizational practices in place. I can't tell you the number of times I have felt like I was some sort of "wacko" because my kids followed a nap and feeding schedules that we don't like to deviate from. Seemed like sometimes people weren't that understanding about it either. We would decline invites for dinners or other events sometimes just because they would interfere with our schedule. Family and friends weren't always so understanding about it because they didn't have to deal with kids who were unbearable to be with for the next 2 days when their schedule was messed up. It is a big deal when there's 3 of them having meltdowns or grouchiness. Now that I have a singleton I can see how much easier it is to be flexible with one child but with 3 it's down right impossible when they are infants and toddlers. It's definitely getting better as they get older though.
The other part I love about Jon and Kate is that they fight in almost every episode. Now I know that everyone fights but I like that they show it. They have the exact same fights that Aaron and I have over and over. When you are trying to get a lot of little ones ready to go somewhere or supervise them when you are out in public it's downright stressful and there's arguing. We "yell" at each other when we are in public because we are trying to accomplish something and the kids are having issues. We end up barking orders at each other and then it's a fight. I have seen Kate say when they are going on family outings and Jon is losing his patience with the kids "I want to have a fun day, let's try to have a fun day" I have said this approximately one million times to Aaron. I think I know the problem too: both Aaron and Jon work and are gone the majority of the day. Kate and I stay home and deal with the kids all day everyday. I know I am used to their problems, complaints, fits. I can tune out a lot of it because they will stop and I just have built up a certain amount of patience or immunity to most of it. Aaron isn't used to dealing with them and he wants them to be little adults or something which isn't going to happen with 3 year olds. So then he yells at them and then I yell at him for yelling at them and then he gets mad at me for "bossing" him. So fun! But I think it's totally normal and it's confirmed by watching the show. Doesn't really mean anything when we do it just so hard to manage all these people.
The Gosselins are a great family and if you haven't checked out their show, you may want to.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The shirt says it all . . .

50% Mommy 50% Daddy
100% Cute

I like to make things hard

So yesterday the kids went down for their nap and I started working on the toy situation. As I have mentioned several times it is just overwhelming. As I started going through stuff, I was unsure of what pieces and parts went with which toy since other people opened most of the packages at Christmas. Then the thought of putting a lot of their toys in containers in a closet to rotate didn’t seem like it was going to work so well since our closets are so full already and then to try to dig out different toys each week or so was going to be a lot of work that I would probably procrastinate and never get some things out. As I talked to a few people yesterday and read on internet blogs, I was envious that some people put toys in their children’s rooms. The 3 older kids sleep in one upstairs room and after 3 beds, a dresser, and a bookcase there’s not a lot of room for toys. Addison and Caden are in toddler beds and Ethan is in a tented crib so he is the only one that cannot get out of bed without us. If I were to put toys in their room, there would never be any sleeping going on in there anyway. Each of our 2 upstairs bedrooms has two very large but awkward closets. In the kids’ room, one closet is FULL of baby equipment and toys waiting for Reese to use and it is jammed packed full. The other one has kid hanging clothes, lots of extra diapers and wipes, tubs of clothes we are growing into, and some toys that I rotate – this closet is also very full. I suddenly decided this afternoon that I could use the baby equipment closet as a sort of toy room for upstairs. It is large enough to put stuff in and they could still walk in there and they are getting old enough to be trusted to play upstairs without constant supervision so it would give us more toy space and when it is time for sleep the closet door can be closed so they don’t play when they should be sleeping. Now it all sounds good but here’s the hard part: I have to clean the clothes closet (which I started) then clean the baby equipment closet and find a place for all that stuff (not sure where that will be) then I can start bringing up some toys and then I can reorganize the toy room. One thing leads to another then to another and then to another. This should take approximately one year since I have so much time to do things like this and I have 3 “helpers” and no place to put anything. I am really slow organizer and can’t really make good decisions on what will work and what won’t. Maybe I’ll surprise myself!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Loving her loving tummy time!

Reese loved her first real session of "tummy time" today! It's shocking because the other 3 kids hated it forever and they would cry and complain every time I put them on their tummies. She has done pseudo tummy time by laying on our chests but it's not the same as laying on the floor herself. She did it for more than 10 minutes today and she was able to lift her head and move it to the other side several times and she could even do this while I am flashing a camera in her face every 30 seconds. She is just such a joy! There isn't one thing that I feel like is a burden about having her around. Having triplets then having a singleton sure does change your perspective on everything! I am working on getting her to sleep in own crib (still in our room since there's no extra space for her to have her own room). Last night was her third night and she did pretty good. I'm still not doing so great on my resolutions -- little overwhelmed by toys hopefully I will make some progress today while the kids nap. Once I get the toys cleaned up and organized hopefully I can get some other organizing and cleaning started.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008: Simplify

I always make New Year’s resolutions and sometimes they stick and sometimes they don’t. Last year I was inspired by scrapbooking celebrity, Ali Edwards’ (yes, nonscrappers there are celebrities in scrapbooking) blog to chose one word for the year. The word I chose last year was ENJOY. I even made a little scrapbook to add photos to document me “enjoying” my family, home, husband, kids, etc. Now I haven’t added one photo yet and that needs to go on my to do list. I do feel I did live up to that mostly, I especially enjoyed my surprise pregnancy and birth of Reese but felt near the end of year I’ve been complaining a bit too much about 3 year olds so I need to work on enjoying that age more. Ali has once again asked her readers to chose a word for 2008 (her word is vitality). My word is simplify. My resolutions are revolving around the word, simplify. So here goes my list for 2008:

1. In our home, we have an overabundance of people and stuff so it makes total sense to DECLUTTER. I did make a lot of progress in ridding our home of unused and unwanted things last year. I ebayed and sold some stuff but I can do a LOT more in this area. My sister and I are having one MEGA yard sale in the summer at her house. I think we will have every kind of baby equipment known to man there and then some. We just have way too much stuff for this house which seems to get smaller everyday. I am ready to get rid of so much stuff. I hate that my house is jammed packed and that it looks like I have wall to wall furniture. I am so over keeping stuff because “someday I might use it/want it/need it” or keeping for sentimental reasons. Now I just have to get Aaron to give up a few things too and we will have more room. He is getting better about this though, I just have to work with him when he’s in the mood to organize.

2. Another way for me to simplify things in my life since it’s so hectic with all these little kids is to go back to what I started doing near the beginning of last year and that’s make to do lists, menus, and schedules. Part of this habit comes from being a teacher: you must have a schedule to accomplish anything in teaching and I always had to do lists to keep track of what needed to be done. Part of it comes from having multiples – you have to be scheduled with triplets or more. Last year I was doing so well with this. I had menus on the fridge for each menu including the kids’ snacks; I had made my own -grocery list of things we always buy so I could circle what we needed when we ran out. At this point I am going to the grocery store without a list or even one meal in mind which makes you not know what to buy and spend a lot of extra money. I have one million things that need to be done but it's just up floating around in my overcrowded brain and I can't even find a piece of paper to write a list of thing to-do on so . . . I am going back to my roots of flylady. If you don’t know about flylady I would check her out. She helps you clean your home in a time efficient manner and organize a lot of other parts of your life. No one ever showed my “how” to clean and I am not a person who can spend one whole day or even ½ day cleaning my home. I need it broken up into small manageable jobs which flylady shows you how to do. Caution if you sign up to join flylady (which is free by the way) she will bombard you with emails but I learned to ignore those after a while.

3. Get the house ready to sell. It’s just too small for 6 people. It was too small for 5 people. There’s no real room to build on unless we went up to a third floor. We need so many things done like a roof, paint the outside, new kitchen floor, some inside painting and many other things – there is a list (yeah for resolution #2!).

4. Save $$$$$$. We are POOR: I’m not embarrassed to say that -- actually we do pretty well for 6 people living on one income but we could do better. If I were to tell you what we live on each year, I think most people would think it would be impossible. We really don’t buy a lot of extras as we can’t. Aaron seldom gets paid for 40 hours each week although he puts in way more than that. Even though our income is not going to increase, I really want to achieve this goal. We’ve had a hard year keeping our head above water sometimes but we did it. We need a cushion for just in case and to fix up this house (see number #3). I’m hoping with being a little more organized with lists that will help us save us money not overbuying and using coupons/sales more. Plus simplifing means we don't need to buy as much "stuff" so that will help save money.

5. Play with the kids more. Some days I have so much to do but just have all my ideas and to-dos floating around that it doesn’t happen like I want it to. Then I was pregnant and as I got bigger the fewer patience I had and I was just so tired the last few months. I am going to “schedule” time to play with them. I also organizing the toys we rotate so they get to play with everything even though it all won’t be out all the time. I have to make lists for this or I will forget to rotate things for them. Time really does go fast and I don’t want to miss out on any time with them while they are so young.

6. My last resolution is to do something creative everyday! I feel so out of it lately. I know I just had a baby and it’s Christmastime and I have 4 kids that are 3 years and under but I haven’t gotten to really scrapbook or do anything creative for a couple months. When you are a SAHM, you can spend all day every day doing things and still not be caught up and before you know it, the day is over and you’ve done a lot just nothing for yourself. Doing those little projects makes me feel like me and I’m doing something for myself: ME TIME! I need to schedule this too (#2) even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, it will help.

So that’s it! Maybe I should have started with simplifying my resolution list! I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Toys R "Us"

Don't address letters and cards to the Murray Family anymore just write Toys R Us and our town, state and it will find us as we are now opening a new toy store in our home. I don't think there's one spot in our home where you don't find several toys including the bathroom and kitchen. We will be reorganizing soon just have to figure it all out. We just have a lot of GENEROUS family and friends that gave a lot to EACH of our 4 children! It's overwhelming to Aaron and me so I can't imagine how the kids are feeling. We will have to put a lot away and rotate every week so they can really play.

The kids had a great Christmas and had 3 separate gift opening times. I am still hearing "Where's HO HO?" like he's coming everyday or something, Thank God he doesn't! Addison and Caden were really into opening gifts this time, Ethan wasn't. At Grammy and Papa's house he opened a 50 cent coloring book and then he was done. He did open some Thomas the train boots and loved those too. Then he went to the kitchen to sit in a box wearing his boots and looking through his book and he was happy. "All I need is this book, these boots, and this box . . . " At Keely's house he got into it a little more and opened most of his presents and liked them. He needs time to "warm up" I guess. Caden was happy with all his Spiderman Web toys and he got a couple of pirate things too. Addison got her giant dollhouse and loves it except Ethan is always piling all the furniture into one room and trying to fit pieces through the doorways that are much too big and it causes quite a commotion for everyone.

Keely and Monica had a cousin party for all of our kids (except Reese) this past weekend and they took all 7 of them from ages 8 months up to 7 years for 2 nights. They had a blast although my kids had a cold but as soon as they got 3 hours from me they had fevers and Addison was pretty sick for a while. Aunt Monica and Aunt Keely handled it just as all moms do and they were fine but we ended up coming back a day early to go to the doctor and we can now be called Ear Infections R Us because Caden and Addison have bad infections in both ears and Ethan has one and another one starting. We got some meds so hopefully that takes care of the whole thing. We had ear infections last Christmas --- what a tradition that is! Aaron and I did enjoy time with just the baby and went to dinner one evening and shopped a little and we cleaned our bedroom and closet some. It's nice to have some quiet once in a while for extended periods of time although we felt bad the kids were sick and we shipped them off for my sisters to deal with all that. Fun for them! Here's a photo of our Christmas celebration at Keely's house just to show that both my sisters, Keely on left and Monica on right, survived the weekend with all those kids!