Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's Summertime!

The baby pool has made an appearance today - the photo shows all the joy of this moment. We got suckered into the world of Toys R Us today and purchased a baby pool with a slide and a water & sand table. This, I'm thinking, will be better entertainment on my WFH days than 9 hours of cartoons on Noggin. I haven't talked much about Claire so far. For now, suffice it to say that our pediatrician was right - two has nothing on three. The "terrible twos" are child's play compared to three. Add on bringing home baby twins to being three years old, and you've got yourself a very combustible combination. We've had a tough year with Claire (and what scares me the most is thinking I'll have TWO of these little 3-year-old beasts some day). We've gone hard-core Super Nanny on Claire and we now have a "star chart" to help moderate her behavior (in fact, the water table is her reward for getting a week's straight of stars). I have to give that star chart (and Super Nanny) some credit - it really does work. For the first month of her chart days, it was awful. We had a horrid time with her throwing fits over losing stars. Her daily reward for an "all star" day is chocolate (this is her currency), so we had many, many tantrums over not getting chocolate after a bad day. But about 4-6 weeks into being VERY consistent with the rules (per the chart), she mellowed out and things have gotten a bit easier. Sure, we still have bad days - I'll be sure to let you know about them of course - but at least it's not a crazy daily battle with her anymore. It also helps that she has now somewhat adjusted to the twins and they are getting far more interesting to her because they are like little people rather than needy blobs.

The Brick Wall

I hit the biggest brick wall ever last night at 5pm. After my bad night of sleep (see previous post for details) I literally couldn't take care of a kid or make dinner or do anything once my husband got home from work. He made dinner (his version of spaghetti which is Prego + meat but who am I to complain when my dinner was handed to me?) and I tried to take a nap but Claire interrupted me four times despite being asked to leave me alone (Kyle can't cook AND watch a kid of course). We got all three to bed and then I was asleep at 9:30pm last night. A record in my book as I'm the original late nighter. And then, bless her, Molly threw me a bone last night - she slept straight until 6am this morning. WOO HOO I feel like a new woman today. It's amazing what a little unbroken sleep will do for someone.

Waiting for the twins to wake so we can enjoy some of the decent (though humid) weather today. And please note the cute shirts (courtesy of my sister, the clothes hound) my three are wearing in the photo today.

Friday, May 30, 2008

All Good Intentions

I had every good intention to post something thought-provoking today. Instead, we're going to talk about an example of how husbands make wives mad and blowouts. Yes, poop. You knew we were going to talk about baby poop, right? In a blog about our family, poop will be a continual part of these posts. It's just a parenting thing.

So first, for how the husband made me mad. I haven't slept through the night, except for last Friday night, since I got pregnant with the twins - so that's 17 months and counting. That sleeplessness will make anyone a little crazy. Kyle and I sleep in different rooms so that at least one of us (read: him) gets uninterrupted sleep every night while the other (me) gets up with Molly twice a night. Kyle is officially on duty with the other two kids, but he is rarely up with any of them - Lily is an amazing sleeper at a minimum of 12 hours per night straight, and Claire only wakes occasionally with thunderstorms or when she's sick. So recently Molly has been in a bad pattern (bad for those of us who are not morning people) of waking at 6:30am and staying up until about a 10am naptime. After being up with her around midnight and again at 4am, I'm in no mood to deal with her at 6:30am. The recent understanding between husband and wife around here is that I can drop off Molly at this early hour in the guest room with Kyle while I go back and get some more sleep. This morning the same pattern occurred - Molly up at 6:30am and ready to go for the day! I was NOT ready to go. So I fed her and walked her to the guest room only to be surprised by the sight of Claire lying in the bed with Kyle (I guess the thunderstorms woke her up last night??). I motioned to Kyle to come get Molly ... made sure not to talk so I didn't wake Claire so early ... and went back to the master bedroom to await my relief. And I waited, and waited, and waited. He showed up with Claire at 8:30am after I had suffered through the last two hours without extra sleep. When I called him out on this, he said he "couldn't see me without his glasses" and so he had no idea I was asking for help with Molly. Ha. Don't believe this. He knew exactly what he was doing and he made sure he got his sleep! I dragged myself out of bed to face another work-from-home and take-care-0f-three-kids day and Kyle left for work.

I was hoping the day would improve .... but NO! Surprise! Lily has had a blowout in her bed. The poop is everywhere (so much for shoving in the Gerber foods last night - this is my punishment for that deed). Everywhere. On the toys in her bed, her hands, the sheet, the pacifiers. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. Lily gets a quick bath in the kitchen sink and I decide to deal with the poop in the bed later because my quick calculation tells me that both babies are hungry at the same time. I hate double feedings. Hate them. This is what makes me not like the twin experience sometimes.

The twins scream until I get them situated with food. Claire is bouncing around trying to talk to me, and I can't focus on her at all and tell her as much. The babies get fed. Poop in bed gets cleaned. And during all this, I have to log into work and make sure my IM is up and running and start responding to emails so it looks as though I'm having a wonderfully productive work day at home. I have a love/hate relationship with work-from-home (WFH) days. I wouldn't want to miss the extra time with the kids (or pay a nanny for these 3 days), but juggling the care of infant twins and a 3-year-old and a job where I'm required to be responsive to customers is often more than I can handle. I'm loopy at the end of these WFH days. Exhausted. So it doesn't help I'm missing a couple extra hours of sleep today.

Oh JOY! The husband just called and after re-hashing this morning's fight over my lack of sleep he just informed me we have no Coke in the house. Coke! It's my lifeline! It has sugar and caffeine and I couldn't be a mother without it. I've got two babies sleeping so there's no way to run up to the McDonald's just 1 minute from our house for an easy fix. I swear in the old days moms used to sneak away from the house like that, but nowadays we'd be put in jail for the 4-minute McDonald's run. Sidenote: isn't there something about McDonald's wanting to be X number of minutes away from everyone's house? Clearly we fit their model.

So I have no Coke. And it's lunchtime. This is not a good combination. I will be a zombie very soon. Claire is asking for spaghettios (it's her daily lunch request), so I must attend to her needs. She is camped out in front of cartoons (how else do you think I WFH with a child her age?? And yes, I know, it's AWFUL I do this) so this gives me some peace to zap those spaghettios. And post this. And scheme about getting that Coke.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Solid Food and "The Pink Medicine"

I got to go to work today. Note I said "got to", versus "had to", which is a new one for me. In my pre-kids days I never overly enjoyed going to work. Sure, I had jobs I liked and felt challenged by, but I preferred doing my own thing on my own time. 8:30am arrival times at work never thrilled me (just find my old bosses - they'll confirm this). But now? Well, let's see ... I can stay home (and have another work-from-home day) and try to manage 8-month-old twins and a 3 1/2-year-old, or I can go to work and have, well, some peace, and time to relax. Who ever thought work could be relaxing? Any parent of multiples - especially baby multiples - will agree that anything other than being home with needy babies is relaxing ... really, anything. Eyebrow wax? Sign me up. That root canal I need? When can I schedule it?

Anyways, I went to work after talking with the new nanny (it's only her second day with us) and had a nice, peaceful day. I whittled my inbox from nearly 400 messages to just 19. Amazing. I used the "new mom's room" (I call it the pump room) to do my motherly duties while at work and I read Newsweek (aaaaah, I read Newsweek) over lunch and by about 4pm I felt whole enough to pack it up and head back home.

And back home, BAM! a house full of three young kids will hit you like a brick in the face. Just the noise level alone upon opening the door is amazing. So the nightly circus began: dinner prep, dinner time, bed time, and then the 'how much can I get done around the house now that the kids are asleep' time.

To orient you, Claire is the 3 1/2-year-old. Molly and Lily are the twins. Kyle is the husband.

Molly and Lily don't like solid food very much yet. In fact, they HATE baby food (sorry Gerber) and it took us months to realize this so now they are already eating "finger foods", i.e., those little pieces of "real" food we all eat. Molly's fine motor skills are better so food makes it to her mouth. Lily's our gross motor kid, so getting food to her mouth is a challenge. Lily is also a bit crazy (that's putting it mildly) if she's hungry, so I make sure to shove in a bunch of the Gerber foods she hates to make sure her calorie needs are met. Tonight she must have been tired (another thing that makes her really crazy) so she screamed and cried and choked on the Gerber foods I shoved in her and I got a lovely photo of her at the end of this fiasco.

Molly's unhappy time came when I tried to get the Amoxicillin in her (we call it "the pink medicine"). She's got an earache (Lily just finished her round of pink medicine ... everything seems to come in twos) and the blessed after-hours clinic (forget the regular doc!) fixed us up this past Tuesday night but now we're fighting the baby who doesn't want to eat anything but breast milk and a few finger foods to get that nasty tasting medicine in her. Sheesh. Who knew it could take 25 minutes to get 3/4 of a teaspoon of medicine in a baby?

Kyle announced he was headed back to work, so I was left with getting the twins and Claire to bed by myself. This is a challenge. I did it, but only by 'allowing' Claire a bedtime of 9pm versus 8pm. At least I left Kyle the dirty kitchen. One should not expect me to handle it all each day, but we'll get into that more on a later date. It's late, and I need some rest before Molly - who just WILL NOT sleep through the night - plans to wake me up twice and make me that much grumpier for my work-from-home Friday tomorrow. Urgh.

Welcome to my circus.