Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Bad Week

Lauren, Claire's preschool best friend, got it right this week. Out to lunch together after preschool on Tuesday, she looked at me earnestly, and in a very adult-like tone, said, "it must be really hard to have two babies". Oh, honey, if you only knew.

I've had a bad week with the kids. I'm simply super busy with work and the kids are just an annoyance, an after thought. I can't get any work done until the twins' nap time, so I'm stuck with packing in a bunch of stuff in three (or fewer) hours and then catching up at night. Add on my office day on Sunday, and I'm fried for the week and need a BIG break from it all - work, and kids.

Claire has had lots of fun with daddy this week and again thinks I'm the no fun, mean mommy, which means she doesn't listen to me and acts really bratty toward me. My patience is wire thin with her given my need to get work done, and housework completed, and personal time to myself. Molly is testing her limits in every way at every moment; Lily, for her part, is beginning to test limits more and (as one would guess) continues to use food as a way to control her world. So with three kids testing my patience, and work/customers doing the same, I think a big glass of wine or a massage or a whole day to myself is just what the doctor ordered.

My hope was to take "comp time" tomorrow, but with work issues coming up non-stop this week I don't think this will be possible after all. The sour mood continues this evening, and tomorrow, and ...

For a little diversion, here's a voyeuristic link to information about Jon (of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fame) partying with other girls (didn't I previously post that marriage with multiples is tough? Even if you've got lots of money and hired help, I guess):

http://www.usmagazine.com/news/jon-and-kate-dad-caught-with-other-woman-2009284

Monday, April 27, 2009

Claire's Video

Claire likes the "Cool Tricks" segments on Noggin (in between cartoons), where kids show off funny little tricks. She made a video for us tonight to showcase something she had figured out minutes earlier. Now she won't stop doing it.

video

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Torture

8.5 hours in the office today: Check
Grocery trip for weekly shopping: Check
Partial dinner prep and clean up: Check
Time with the kids: hmmmmmmm

Needless to say, I'm in a foul humor thanks to my office day on a Sunday (I was at the office by 7am, before anyone was awake in my house). I got a couple hours around the twins but Claire played outside with the neighbor girl all afternoon (and ate dinner outside with her) so I literally spoke no more than 20 sentences to Claire all day today.

Uggggg. I'll be working in some comp time this week to make up for lost kid time.

Oh, and the nanny called in sick for tomorrow so I'm scrambling to figure out how I can chair a 10am conference call without kid interruptions. Panic!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The New Ride


Molly won't be secured into anything moving. Not a stroller, not a carseat. I get the back arched, screaming fit any time I have to click her into something. So I had the grand idea to go to Toys R Us with Claire earlier today and buy a double-kid wagon (unfortunately for full price) that's not quite a wagon, thinking Molly would find it entertaining and wouldn't throw a fit.

We made it on one short trip to the neighborhood park and then she wouldn't ride in it again. So much for that grand idea. Snapped a photo when we arrived at the park when she was still happy with the new ride.

I guess this wagon is their overpriced 19-month-old "present", as today they hit that mark.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Field Trip Day

Today should have been a thoroughly enjoyable day. Claire had a preschool field trip to a pond and the twins and I joined so that I could shuttle Claire to and from the pond myself. The weather was super windy, but warm. I expected the twins would love the change of pace; instead, Molly cried nonstop. Nonstop. So the morning was ruined, and I'm not exactly sure what Molly disliked so much other than the gale force winds which were clearly bothering both of the twins.

The morning hubbub caused the twins to nap for four hours, so I was able to finish up some work and play outside with Claire for a little while. When the twins awoke I expected to do snack and then play a while before dinner, but Lily shattered those plans. She had gone diaper diving again, and her room, hands, bed, and clothes smelled of poop, so I had to bathe her and clean all her clothes and bedding. I spent thirty minutes hunkered down with Lysol wipes and getting her cleaned up. Yes, I was furious, and our afternoon was ruined thanks to Lily's continued fascination with her bodily functions. This is my fourth round of cleaning her and her bed due to diaper diving and what frustrates me the most is she seems uninterested in learning that she shouldn't touch poop. In fact, she seems to have little comprehension of what she did wrong.

Urgh. The only thing that improved my day is I attended the mothers of multiples "garage sale" tonight and picked up a bunch of great stuff for less than $60. I bought 7 pairs of shoes (one pair is even brand new), several items of clothing, and tons of good games (most for Claire and some for the twins). In fact, Claire is still awake playing with her new Leapster games ($3! instead of $25!) - not that I think it's a good idea she's having a late night. And I'm wiped after some bad sleep this week and a couple days of cranky kids (yesterday all three were quite cranky on me all day long).

Tomorrow is dance class and a negotiation with Kyle over how much work time he needs because that always dictates my schedule. Sunday, unfortunately, I am tapped to be in the office at 7am (!) to ensure our billing system conversion goes smoothly. I am feeling super grumpy about this because Sunday is my only day of the week to sleep in and ignore my adult responsibilities for an hour or so. Ah well, it's the price I pay for so much WFH flexibility!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Water Table Video

Here's the video I discussed in my previous post - lots of fun with the water table tonight! It certainly made my dinner prep time a breeze. The twins were too entertained to need my attention.

I think Molly is learning how to torture her sister already.

video

Water and Goose Eggs



We're on head injury watch, again. Tonight at the dinner table Molly pushed her chair back from the table like she always does to indicate she was 'done', but instead she somehow pushed herself straight backward with the chair, strapped into the booster seat, crashing to the floor. I frantically tried to break the fall (all seeing this happen in excruciating slow motion) but to no avail. BANG. Molly screaming. Me shaking. Kyle rushing off with Molly to another room (he has a habit of grabbing hurt kids and taking them away from me, which panics me even more).

She has a big knot on the back of her head, a little low on the skull, closer to the neck area, and all I can think of is that actress who just died of a head injury on an easy ski slope. So I've been totally panicked the last three hours.

Before that, the kids were having a great time outside with the water table. When I arrived home from work, Kyle set up the baby gate system outside on the patio (handy way to keep them from running off) while he cleaned up the roofers' mess in our yard and I started dinner. We let them play with the water table which they were ecstatic about (photos show it all) and they got so dirty I had to do bath night tonight. And then Molly slipped and fell in the bathtub for her second fall for the night. If it didn't scare me so much, I'd almost find tonight comical.

I've got a great video but I'll do it in a second post. The twins played with the water for a long time and then all the sudden, while I was filming the video, Molly got the idea to dump water on Lily's head which actually made Lily laugh. I thought it was hysterical so I'm uploading the video for sharing.

I hope, hope that Molly is OK. In fact, it's about time to check on her again. I'll be up all night checking on her. Claire, for her part, seems to be getting sick (how! it's Spring!), so we're in for another round of cooties I'm afraid.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A New Roof

We never figured out Molly's odd bruise, but I think I figured out some of her mood issue: I fear she's already starting on her 2-year molars. I know, it's early, but she's also the kid who got her first tooth at four months (yes, four). Early teethers stay early teethers, and I just confirmed the norm for 2-year molars is 20-33 months of age, and so at nearly 19 months she'd be right on track for her typical early teething. So that explains the screaming at night tonight, and the very, very (did I say very?) feisty mood of late.

At least I hope we can blame teething. I don't want this to be Molly's normal behavior. Restaurant meals might have to be stopped thanks to her recent inability to sit still, eat, and be quiet.

I do remember Claire being a demon child for her 2-year molars, so this would fit the pattern. Lily is my only child who teethes without noticeable mood alterations.

Our re-roof hasn't helped matters. For the past two days we've been getting a new roof (think "BANG BANG" all day long), so the twins are short on naps and definitely out of sorts. Today Molly cried for nearly an hour before she settled down for her nap.

And for a complete change of pace, Claire went along with Kyle this afternoon, so I only had the twins today other than lunch when all five of us gathered at Arby's. I never, ever have the twins to myself for any length of time so I enjoyed being with them without big sister in the mix. They interact much more effectively without Claire around. The house was also far more peaceful (except for aforementioned BANG BANG) without Claire vying for my attention.

The roof, by the way, looks great. We made a good choice.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up


A little bit of a 'blah' weekend here. Molly has been quite cranky (and we have found a large bruised area on her inner thigh, so we're wondering if that is the source of her irritability, but also confused about how she got this) but the other two kids have been fine. I tried to do a restaurant and park outing Friday which was thoroughly unenjoyable due to Molly's mood. Saturday I had a few 'quiet' hours with Claire in the morning (our usual tap/ballet, errands, and Waffle House morning), but beyond that I was stuck at home the remainder of the weekend except for a HyVee trip before the kids' bedtime tonight. So between cabin fever and the cooler temperatures outdoors again, I have felt a little bored.

The gardening experiment continues to progress. Our indoor tomato plants have all sprouted (photo here). The peppers are lagging a little, with only three sprouts so far. We also bought some tomato plants already about 6 inches tall just to ensure we'll end up with tomatoes somehow or another. The outdoor plants got a lot of rain over the last few days so I'm worried about them. A couple seedlings were even unearthed. We'll see how they fare.

I'm doing a brisk toy sales business thanks to Craig's List - I've sold several of our outgrown (infant) toys lately which has supported my lunches-with-the-kids habit. Even so, the basement still looks overly crowded with toys.

Tomorrow: office day, and a little peace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Garden, Part Two



Yesterday, while I was at work and Kyle was doing his daddy-the-nanny day, Kyle and Claire started on the second phase of the food garden: the outdoor plants. We had a set of items (peppers and tomatoes) that had to be started indoors in starter parts that Claire and I did this past weekend, but the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and some herbs can all go directly in the ground and that is what they accomplished during the twins' naps.

Kyle took some cute photos of Claire planting the seeds. She is very excited about her garden, and now that I'm seeing little green sprouts from our indoor pots, I am too!

Balloons!

A little balloon fun this afternoon ... these are the now deflated Easter balloons. Always a good idea to keep them around for a few days because they provide endless entertainment. Lily is quite funny with the "owww" comment to me.

video

Moms And The Internet

If we didn't already have enough to worry about, now we can worry whether we mothers are addicted to the internet:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/13/mothers.internet.addiction/index.html

I'll admit that with my blogging and social networking sites and 'addiction' to CNN.com news I've definitely taken a few internet addiction tests, but I always come out OK. I definitely love the internet, but I know when to say when.

Now if I could just stop myself from blogging and go outside to play with Claire (who was banished to the backyard to play while I sat on a conference call) ...

... After I check my three email addresses. And scan CNN.com for updated news. And check my social networking sites ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Swing, Swing

I must be video happy today, because here I go again ... I'm posting a video of the twins swinging outside this evening before dinner. You can hear Molly saying the twins' version of "swing, swing", which is more voice intonation than words, but too cute nevertheless.

I'm just happy the weather was nice enough to get outside for an hour before dinner.

Mmmmm, and this chocolate iced Krispy Kreme doughnut is topping off my evening nicely while I wait for this video to upload (videos take a super long time to upload). My friend nicknamed the (then in utero) twins "Krispy" and "Kreme" because of my fondness for these doughnuts during the pregnancy. Her baby gift was perfect: Krispy Kreme onesies.

Claire, on the other hand, nicknamed the girls "Peanut Butter" and "Spaghettios".

Now you can enjoy watching Krispy (Peanut Butter) and Kreme(Spaghettios) swing tonight. And remind me not to complain about that last nagging seven pounds of baby weight when I can't keep myself from the doughnuts.

video

Driving Is Fun!

My challenge in parenting is to remember to slow down, relax, and let kids be kids. Sometimes that means I won't accomplish much in a day, but the kids might be the better for it. So today I allowed 15 minutes of play time in the car in the Target parking lot before we picked up Claire from preschool. Given how much Molly loves to play "driving" and Lily likes to crawl around the car, I made myself sit back and watch them enjoy the car exploration rather than worrying about what I could do in those fifteen or twenty minutes. Video posted here.

video

Family Organization

Another great link from CNN.com today. I'm a huge organization and "set your priorities" straight person (for the sake of simplification) so I give this article a thumbs up ... business practices can and should be applied to families also!

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/04/08/rs.use.business.strategies.home/index.html

Being the Newsweek addict, I enjoyed this My Turn column immensely. Written (again) by a father about his own postpartum depression:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/192463

Monday, April 13, 2009

Poison Control

I placed my third call to Poison Control since having kids tonight, all because Kyle carelessly left his beer in reach of Molly while he was distracted and cleaning up the downstairs. So after Claire started yelling, I ran over to a toddler covered in beer and her breath smelling of the same and I went into full meltdown (there's nothing worse in my book than blatant safety oversights). I called Poison Control and got instructions and then I kept Molly (and Lily) awake a little later for observation time. It's just tough to discern drunken behavior out of a toddler who walks like a drunken sailor, so I kept panicking that she was drunk for the last hour. Anyways, after her sugary treats and drinks (advised by Poison Control) I just put Molly to bed but rest assured I will be checking on her until I go to sleep. I am waiting on Poison Control to call me back. They always give you a courtesy call an hour later to see how the child is doing. But how stupid do I feel making that call? Uh, well, my 18-month-old got hold of my husband's beer .... hmmmm ... sounds a little WT, don't you think?

So not a good night for the household. This comes on the heels of Lily refusing to eat her roasted chicken so I had to force feed the food to her tonight, with all the Lily drama that entails.

Oh, and if you're wondering, the other two times I called Poison Control were because Claire ate a shot of antibacterial gel when she was about 6 months old and Lily got into ant bait at 7 months old. I guess that makes us serious repeat offenders - one call per kid so far and counting.

MyGym Video

Just to go a little backward in time here, I'm posting a blurry video from the kids' trip to MyGym this past Friday. You can see how Lily is more physically adept (willing to jump on the trampoline while standing) whereas Molly is still more comfortable on her knees on the trampoline.

video

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday Dinner




Hey, everyone knows that pizza is traditional Easter dinner fare, right? Well, because we're such tradition hounds, we had pizza at Waldo's tonight along with Papa. It was so empty in the restaurant that we could allow the kids to be the monkeys they wanted to be. Photos show it all. I had forgotten how good their pizza is ...

Easter Sunday


Had to post the requisite Easter egg hunting photos ... the twins were not part of the egg hunt this morning. They stayed inside and played with the balloons we tied to their Easter baskets.
Miserable weather here today. Cold and rainy and all sorts of depressing.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Few Good Days




Other than a class-act tantrum from Claire this evening, I've really enjoyed the girls the last few days. The highlights are from Friday, where I took the kids to free play at MyGym. Claire seemed mildly bored early on (until she found a girl her age to play with), but the twins were in awe of the ball pit, large trampoline, and all the climbing equipment. Molly had a small accident but other than that they loved the hour of play (and took super long naps afterwards!).

Today I had a nice morning with Claire at tap/ballet, Sam's Club, Home Depot, and Mr. Goodcent's. While the twins napped, we started Claire's "garden", which meant we had to plant the tomatoes and peppers indoors in those little starter pots. Claire is obsessed with doing a garden this summer and I'm all for it if it'll encourage vegetable eating. When the twins woke up, I took everyone back to Deanna Rose where we had a great time as always. Claire found a girl her age she wouldn't leave alone, so the girl's dad and I followed the kids around the park for a couple hours. Photos posted here. Note the car picture - the twins (and particularly Molly) are now obsessed with "driving" the car.

I just returned from my mom-the-easter-bunny HyVee trip where I picked up Easter baskets, balloons, and some candy. The girls are getting an outfit apiece for the holiday and Kyle is doing an Easter egg hunt for Claire with the candy I bought.

I'm catching up on posts after dealing with a migraine-like headache Thursday night that left me feeling "hungover" on Friday. Hope I don't do that again any time soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Undressed

Lily is my kid who can't keep her hands off herself. She diaper dives, she digs her fingers in her belly button all day long, she sticks her hands up her shirt and in any pockets she can find in an almost repetitive-motion kind of way (yes, it freaks me out a little). She has also figured out how to unzip jackets, and I've been battling her on keeping her jacket on for a few weeks now. So I knew this was coming ... and it happened tonight: Lily unzipped herself out of her pajamas. We happened to check on the twins after we had already put them to bed because they wouldn't settle down, and Kyle walked in to find Lily stripped down to her diaper. I'm actually surprised she still had the diaper on - I suppose that's the next phase of this houdini clothing act (or we caught her quickly enough). Urgh. And why did I get the kid with this disrobing fascination?!

I've already gotten advice from the pediatrician and from the mothers of multiples group on how to handle the stripping toddler, so I guess we'll have to start altering the PJs to account for this new behavior!

Marriage and Multiples

I can't seem to confirm the statistic anywhere else, but a couple days ago I read that parents of multiples have a 70% higher chance of divorcing compared to other parents. I don't dispute the factoid. Parenting multiples is tough, and particularly tough on marriage.

So in that frame of mind, I enjoyed another CNN.com link today - one written (again) from the man's point of view. And while I completely commiserate with the author (both men and women feel this way), I think his yearning for the past overshadows the learning point he tried to make: marriages change after kids, the day-to-day mundane chores and chaos often get in the way, and it's up to the long-haul couples to find new ways of relating and connecting within the context of children and chores. Yearning for the pre-kids days just doesn't get anyone anywhere. Adaptation is key to marital success.

The link:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/04/07/p.missing.woman.love.with/index.html

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Deanna Rose Again





Another great day for the kids (and me). Claire and I got the morning to ourselves - dance lessons, Waffle House, a little shopping - and then this afternoon I returned to Deanna Rose with all three kids for another two hours. Fantastic! The twins figured out they could feed the goats themselves and couldn't get enough of it. They were hysterical to watch (hopefully my photos capture some of that, and yes, Molly is trying to feed the poor goat a rock). Then tonight Kyle joined up with us for dinner at Pizza Shoppe.

Today at the park I met a father of 18-month-old triplet boys (oh my!), and yesterday at the park I met a set of parents with a 3-year-old, a 12-month-old, and 2-week-old twins. Ooooog. So clearly both of these families reset my concept of "family challenges".

One of the best parts of today? I did not clean the kitchen, or cook, at all! This was my reward for cooking dinner every night for the past six days. Or maybe it was seven. Whichever it is, I think I deserved a night off from kitchen duty. And it helped me focus on the kids and just have fun with them.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Deanna Rose Opens





Yipee - Deanna Rose (petting zoo/park by our house) is open again! And after spending too many (cold) days camped inside, I decided to get the kids over there for a long (long) lunch. We first ate lunch at Culver's, where the twins amused me with playing the "high five" game with each other. Then, I pushed the twins to a super late nap while we spent a couple hours at Deanna Rose, and they were so, so excited by the animals they didn't notice their fatigue at all (except on the swings, where Molly's eyelids got very droopy).

I got some great photos from the outing today.

Later this afternoon, Claire and I had a "mock" lemonade stand in the backyard, and we actually made real lemonade together. She was very excited, and obviously not used to me giving her this much attention on a work day.
A fantastic day for everyone.

I also had Claire's preschool parent-teacher conference yesterday (amazing it starts this early), where I learned she's a good kid but she still doesn't know all her numbers and letters. Hmmmm. Guess we need to work on that, or maybe not - she's got another year before kindergarten! I suppose I worry less about this than other parents. I couldn't read in kindergarten and I did just fine academically, so why the emphasis on reading in kindergarten now?

Tomorrow we're expected to hit 70 degrees here so I'd love to get the kids back to Deanna Rose.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mothers Of Multiples And Depression

CNN.com had another timely article today for mothers of multiples:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/31/depression.multiple.births/index.html

The article notes the study didn't look into the causes of depression. Hmmmm. Let's look no further than my previous post.

Today: office day for me and a daddy-the-nanny day.
Tomorrow: parent-teacher conference at the preschool - hope I get a decent report!