Thursday, October 29, 2009
The twins love going to the preschool and running in the "gym" (which is the church's sanctuary area), so I took some photos of them enjoying the fun along with BFF Lauren's little brother Pete. Molly called Pete "Beep", and Lily called him "Pee Pee". Ha ha ha. And yes, if you'll look closely, Kyle somehow put Molly's shoes on backwards. Men. I fixed her shoes after I took these photos.
The disturbing part of today was learning from the teacher that yesterday and today Claire kicked some classmates out of frustration. What?! Kicked?! I am furious with Claire, and am trying to understand what happened. The story I got from Claire was that Nolan didn't like her jacket so she kicked him. I told her that a "well, I like my jacket" was a much better response than kicking. But upon recent probing, I've determined that her story is just that - it's not the real reason she resorted to kicking, but she can't seem to remember the real reason. I may contact the teacher again to understand what spurred the kicking sessions just so I can offer Claire a smarter alternative than physical aggression.
But I'm shocked at her behavior. Shocked, appalled, and disgusted. I've never gotten feedback like this before, so it has me reeling a little. Why would she have resorted to kicking? Why so aggressive? What can I do to teach her better ways of handling her anger? I don't ever remember hearing stories about me beating up on other kids in school but I should ask my parents if my memory is correct. And I usually steer clear of gender stereotypes, but it does seem the boys are generally the ones coming home with these reports - not the girls! Sheesh. We have some thinking to do around this house.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
... and we also wrote Claire's birthday thank-you notes to distribute with the cupcakes, which Claire signed for me (I find it amazing to think that in two years she might be writing them herself). And tonight, I'm feeling thankful for some reminders that my kids are good kids, healthy, and seemingly, mostly normal. Normal is good.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
... and with a crockpot dinner already cooking, the good news is we can get back outside when the twins wake up and enjoy more of this gorgeous Fall afternoon.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
In the middle of these two clinic visits (one with all three kids, and one with only Lily), I took Claire and the twins to Claire's first ice skating lesson. It was much too short due to all the administrative items tonight, but she enjoyed it. What I didn't like is they took the kids to this miniature skating rink at the back of the building and parents were not allowed to stay and watch. Call me over protective, but I like monitoring if my kid falls and hits her head. That way, I have some idea how hard she hit. I felt very blind to the process back there which made me a little nervous.
So, if you mix the clinic trips, ice skating lessons, three loads of laundry, dinner cooked (had to do a crockpot meal to ensure dinner was on the table at 6:30pm), preschool pick up, and the WFH day, you'll find one very exhausted parent at the end of it. It doesn't help that the twins had us up for over an hour in the middle of the night last night either. *Yawn*
I hope everyone sleeps through the night tonight and tomorrow provides a low-key office day! Fingers crossed that all my clinic trips did not expose us to the flu either ...
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
... which makes me think of that family with the identical quadruplet girls. I cannot imagine four Claires.
Tomorrow is Claire's birthday party, so we should have a big day ahead of us! She bruised her cheek tonight being clumsy, so the birthday photos tomorrow will look battered.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I always love a little validation, especially when it's scientific research.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
But let's talk about this dinner I slaved over while the kids played nicely. I made sweet potato casserole (complete with the brown sugar topping, which the kids should like), pork chops in a light white wine and cream sauce (ok, that's a little adult centered, I know), and corn. The kids all rejected it, other than eating a few bites of the corn. *Sigh*. The food battle continues to rage in my household, with the biggest battle being in my head: do I give up cooking "adult" food I enjoy and work toward cooking "kid style foods", or do I cook what I want to eat and either short-order cook (which I swore I wouldn't do) for the kids or let them starve each night? Cooking used to be one of my favorite hobbies. Hobby! Ha - I laugh at the thought now. It's my daily drudgery, dealing with picky eaters and a spouse with a limited range himself. On a weekly basis, I do the meal planning, grocery shopping, and the cooking. My "break" is a once or twice a week take-out dinner or Kyle grilling on a Sunday night. But roughly five nights a week, week after week after week, I am at the kitchen helm, debating what food I'd find reasonably appealing that maybe the kids would eat too. Most nights feel like a failure to me. And for a perfectionist, daily failure is incredibly unpleasant.
So for a while now, I've debated doing the "truly transparent", real life, what-we-had-for-dinner-and-was-it-successful report. We all want to know how other people live, how other families handle the daily dinner routine, so I might do a post to summarize our dinners for a week in the household, or find a way to post it on the side of the blog. Let me think through the concept, and you might just see something soon on this subject. Then you'll know the answers - do I rely on pre-prepared foods? Do I cook from scratch? Do I do more take-out than I own up to? If I were to summarize the week-by-week plan around here, I know that I usually do a great job of meal planning for one week (and shopping for the week in advance), and then the next week, I can't pull it off again. So I have one well-executed week, then a bad week, then a well-executed week, and so on. It's a balance I've come to accept.
I just can't seem to accept eating kid food for the next 10-15 years until my kids' tastes mature.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
But still, I eked out a reasonable weekend nevertheless. The kids were in great moods (despite the lingering head cold/cough sickness everyone got last week) and the twins particularly are beginning to fall in line with our regular patterns and rules and seem comfortable in our daily routine. The only rough patches we have are at the "changing of the guard" moments when Kyle returns home and I leave or vice versa - the change in parenting styles is always a shock to all three kids.
Tonight I watched the twins play together while Kyle and Claire ran to Home Depot, and it was an absolute joy to watch them interact. Molly (the dominant twin) "directed" the play style, but Lily followed the directions (mostly) and the girls laughed and screeched and didn't pay one bit of attention to me. I had a contented moment, one brief thought that maybe there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. And then I remembered that someday I'll have three teen aged girls and I laughed at my naivete. Ah well, at least I am seeing some benefit to twins at the moment - I know I never stated that the last two years.
The girls all wore their "hot chocolate" shirts today, which I thought was fitting given the weather outside ...
... but I hope that we have a few days soon where outside play becomes possible again!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
complete my "real" (paid) work: check
wash and hang all the family's laundry: check
do preschool pick up: check
get the kids outdoors to enjoy the nice weather: check
finish swapping kids' closets from summer to winter clothes: check
cook and clean up dinner: check
make a quick Kohl's and Walmart trip after kids in bed: check
I should feel a great sense of accomplishment, but I'm struggling to feel that ... one, because I'm getting Claire's head cold and my energy level is low (despite my output today which would indicate otherwise); and two, because getting that much done [see list above] usually means the kids stay a little bored all day which makes me feel like a failure. At least we got 45 minutes outside today, where I snapped a few photos of the girls. Molly was walking around with the binoculars "exploring" hence the funny photos. For my part, I'd like to explore ways to ditch the mom guilt when I don't feel like I've entertained my kids well all day.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Today I took it easy because I knew my work schedule would accommodate me slacking off a little. The kids and I had lunch together and we went shopping at the Dollar Store for fun. Molly never napped but Lily took a long one, so I finally woke up Lily and took all three kids to Michael's for birthday party favors and the "Halloween game" I'm responsible for at Claire's preschool party (what the heck is a Halloween game?). The kids thought the crafts store was fantastic and I think we spent a full hour hanging out there. After Michael's, we had pizza for dinner (Kyle joined up with us at that point), bought supplies at Sam's Club, and got back home just in time for the twins' bed time. Claire fell asleep in the hallway tonight, and worried me by mentioning a sore throat. Hmmmm, is it time for our first round of sickness? Or is it just the weather change? We're now in the low 60s during the day already.
The best moment of the week was when Molly and I were sharing a quiet moment on the bed together, and she turned to me and said, "Momma, me happy". Awwwww. All around, I love everything about that statement - from the 2-year-old language skills to the idea that she can verbalize her feelings. I was also pleased to see that Lily worked really hard this week to talk, and at times refused to let her two dominant sisters overpower her verbally. Go Lily!
It's been a bad week for two year olds in the KC area. One was killed in a car accident earlier this week (he was not in a carseat), one had his legs run over by an SUV in a parking lot, and one girl (who my colleague knows) is fighting for her life at Children's Mercy after a fence fell on her and cracked her skull in a bunch of places causing brain bleeds. Two year olds are known for their fearlessness, their cluelessness about everyday dangers, and I know they are vulnerable. I'm a safety nut, but even so something could happen to one of my girls too. With all the tragedies I saw on the news this week, I felt the need to hug the twins just a little tighter. My heart goes out to the families of the other two year olds hurt this week.