Saturday, May 29, 2010

It Makes me Happy...


I love my husband.


I love my munchkins.


I love my extended family.

I love hearing an old song on the radio out of the blue.


I love to bake.


I love the Moby.


I love having company.


I love seeing my kids play together.


I love sweet baby snuggles and holding a sleeping baby.

I love Lindt Truffles.


I love to decorate cakes.


I love friends.


I love the Sunday School class Kate gets to be a part of.

What makes you happy? Join the fun at Kelly's Korner!



Friday, May 28, 2010

Check-Up

The Little Man had his 6 month well visit today. He was 17 lbs. 11.4 oz. and 26 1/4" long (44th and 31st percentiles respectively). He's way beyond the expected gross motor milestones at this point, with no indication that he plans to slow down yet. He pulled up twice last night and he will walk across the living room while holding my hands, not the one or two steps he was doing before.

He's tired this afternoon, courtesy of the 4 immunizations and the lovely woman at the grocery store who turned her head away from the cashier to cough and did so on my baby boy, giving him a rotten cold.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gabby Girl

Ah, my darling little Gabriella. Sandwiched between your exuberant older sister and the baby of the family, we treasure you too, as much as the others. You are full of all kinds of stubbornness, as is your sister, but then again, your brand is all your own. You choose to ignore rather than engage. You are our little cuddle bug. You give sweet hugs and even sweeter little kisses. I love to see your little eyes closed as you lean in and snuggle up close.

You are a smart cookie. You can sing many songs. Your favorite is "Jesus Loves Me," you ask to sing it almost every night. You count to twenty, but you leave out 15. I think you know it belongs there because when we correct you, you just smile and leave it out again. You can already put on all but your tightest shoes, though you can't tie them yet. You can put on your pants but still need a bit of help with your shirts and socks.

You are a loving little gal. You are so sweet with your little brother especially, but all babies in general. You spend most of your time caring for Baby Sally, and you tell me, "Shhh, Baby Sally is fast asleep!"

I just want to be sure that while you're in the middle of our little brood you are still loved very much.

Bath Time

Little Man had his first tub bath last night. I'd had to give up the infant tub about a month ago because he'd started pushing his feet against the wall and straightening quickly, nearly flipping out. So we moved on to the kitchen sink. It wasn't ideal, but it was close to the highchair, since he gets bathed after eating a messy dinner that's helpful. The last time I bathed him there though, he grabbed the sprayer and stood up, repeatedly.

There are no pictures from his tub bath though...he was no more calm or still in the tub. He was crawling as I washed him. Do you know how hard it is to wash a slippery crawling baby? There's no way to juggle him and a camera. He seemed to enjoy it though, except for the whole getting out part.

The differences in him and the girls are astounding!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Revolt

If they do nothing else, my children keep me humble. Last week I thought I had the sleep situation worked out, but alas it was not to be. Gabby got sick, which may have caused the beginning of the lapse, but now it has spun out of control. We're talking hours to fall asleep and at least an hour before the alarm goes off (for a 3 hour loss on the night--every night).

Last night I lost track of how many trips we made, but it ended with me sitting up there for 45 minutes or so, just praying for wisdom in how to handle this situation. I was visibly upset, evidently, because Kate asked what was wrong, so I told her that this was my time with Daddy and that she and Gabby were keeping me from that. Generally, we believe honesty is the best, but evidently my devious little girl takes this as her point of attack. This morning she tells me that she's going to ruin my evenings and not let me watch any more movies by making me come upstairs.

How do I convince them that this is worth their effort and not negotiable? We've tried rewards. Then we warned if we came up again there would be no Sesame Street today, so there was no Big Bird or Elmo at our house this morning. Is staying consistent with this the best plan, so they know we mean business or do we chuck this plan as a failure and move on to something else?

The quandaries of parenthood! I'm sure there will be a day that fighting in bed will seem small and insignificant, but it is a battle to be waged now--for peace and for rest for my sleepy eyed little darlings.

Monday, May 24, 2010

To Go or Not To Go

...if you're a parent, you've probably had to make this decision. When is your child sick enough to call the doctor's office? I have waited out many a fever over the past four and a half years. I tend not be reactive. Actually I tend not to give fever reducers unless the fever gets fairly high and we're heading towards bed time or the kiddo complains of pain.

This past week Gabby had a rotten fever--104.4 at the highest (and that was with Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen on board). Finally Friday afternoon we decided I should take her in. The nurse practitioner was able to rule out ear infection and step throat, but that means we wasted the trip (and the $150). She's better now, fever is gone and she's her sweet stubborn self again.

So, in her 2 1/2 years she's had 3 sick visits and never has she had anything that could be treated--once was a vaccination reaction and now two viral fevers. I'm thankful she's not a sickly little gal, but it sure is hard to decide when to sit through it and when to go. Part of the reason we went was it would be the weekend and hard to get in without having to go to the ER or UrgentCare. I did one of her sick visits at UrgentCare--I don't ever want to do that again. It was a holiday weekend and we waited 3 hours for a 10 minute visit!

I hope that you and your kiddos stay healthy, that you rarely have to make this choice, and that you're given wisdom when it's time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nate's First Word

I have three kiddos...one would think that just one of them would say 'Mama' first, but nope. They don't even say 'Dada' first. They've all had different first words. Kate's was 'kitty cat.' Gabby's was Elmo. I'd started the blog by then, so you can read about it here.

Then there's the little man. Boys love their mothers, surely he would say, "Mama," first. And he does, when he gets really excited or mad, say, "ma-ma-ma," but I'm not sold he means me. This, however, I was really sure of what he meant...

video
feed me, "MORE!"

He's met several milestones this past week--he's officially promoted from army to regular crawling, he can sit himself up (as of yesterday), and he can push himself to stand (since Tuesday). Tonight he started hopping like a frog--hands on the ground and he launches from his feet with his knees bent. He's learning at an alarming rate! If someone could help me find the pause button or at least the slow-motion button, I'd appreciate it!

Go Fly a Kite

I remember flying a kite a grand total of once as a kid. My Daddy took me across the street into the field with the neighbor's cows. I was so scared of those cows that I'm sure I was no fun. Justin, however, had fond memories of kite flying and Kate's been begging to fly a kite for quite awhile. So for Justin's birthday he wanted to fly a kite with the girls. It rained a lot last week, but Friday it was nice enough to get out with the kite.


Getting ready


Showing Kate how to do it


Kate had pretty good luck. She can run pretty well, which helps. She did get it caught in a few trees, but nothing too tall for Justin to be unable to reach.


Gabby had a bit less luck. Perhaps in part because she kept heading toward the kite instead of away from it.

The girls decided that the playground looked like more fun after awhile.


Here's the handsome troll who terrorized the bridge.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Won!

Yay! I entered a blog drawing at Tales of a Peanut last week after making my way there from Kelly's Korner and I won three books Miss Match, Cool Beans, and Off the Record. Jennifer has more give aways this month in celebration of her daughter's birthday. Maybe you can win too.

Thanks Jennifer!

Their Just Reward



As promised, the girls got to make an art project after sleeping last night. They made 'rain sticks' out of paper towel tubes. We poked toothpicks through them, put paper caps on one end, filled with beans (Kate counted out hers as she put them in--50 even, I couldn't have done that if I tried. She has never counted above thirty before so she tried to say 20-11teen.). Then we covered the other end, wrapped in paper and let them go to town with stickers.

Fast, fun, easy, and a nice quiet evening for me. Though not so much quiet now--there's a lot of bean shaking going on!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ah the joys of bribery positive reinforcement. We put the girls together about a week ago at bed time. It's been an adjustment. The first few nights they giggled and stayed up a little later than we'd like, but as the week has worn on they have gotten louder and picked on each other more. One night Gabby, who was quite tired from all of this up late-ness, bit Kate when she was bothering her...twice. Last night we made more trips up the stairs than I care to count.

Today I told the girls if they would go straight up and sleep that we would make a craft tomorrow. Silence, not a peep, and no trips upstairs! We're going to start a reward chart tomorrow and hopefully get this room mate situation taken care of so they have one less big change with the big move.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A friend of mine is out of town, some ridiculousness about visiting her parents and looking for a new house, how dare she? There's a sale on chicken at a local store and she is having to miss it with her escapade, so I took the munchkins to procure some chicken for her munchkin's first birthday party.

It's not a store that we frequent, actually, I'm not sure that Gabby has ever been in it at all, since she was born anyway. When we got there, the girls were thrilled to see a "two seats cart." If you've never noticed these, they are carts with large plastic seats built in between the shopper and the basket. They are large, they are heavy, they are unwieldy, and the girls claim they love them. I say it that way because it inevitably ends with someone trying to get out, complaining that the other one hurt her, or the like. I was only going in for chicken, so I acquiesced. I needed to get a new buyers card at the service desk--like I said, not a place I go often and they are updating their system. While at the desk, Gabby screams and cries she doesn't want to be strapped in and Kate is yelling that the straps are too tight. Gabby gets the straps off of her arms. Nate sits in his car seat in the basket oblivious and happy. We finally get our new cards.

I proceed back to the front of the store where the carts are located. I'm calling their bluff and they didn't appreciate it. I remove both girls from their seats and place Nate's carrier into a regular cart. There was much screaming and crying. I finally pick up Gabby and head to the back of the store, Kate trailing behind me crying and wailing. I look in the bins with the frozen chicken. I didn't find what she asked me to pick up. I circled around, walked to the deli, checked by the lunch meat, no chicken breasts for 99 cents/pound. I had a diaper coupon, so I went down that aisle. As I was picking up the case, Kate started pushing the cart (with Nate) away. She told me, "He's my brother and I'm taking him with me. We're going to a new home where no one will tell me what to do." Joy.

We're down by the frozen foods now, so we go to look there. Still no chicken. I picked up a frozen pizza for lunch, as this 10 minute trip was over half an hour at this point and still not over. We circle back by that case with the frozen chicken tenders again. Nope. Finally I walk to the place where they have the whole chickens. There it was--I'd been looking for it to be in a bag, but it was in a tray. Success.

The munchkins and I made our way to the cash register to pay for our purchases, the tears were gone and they chattered happily. No one would have known that they spent over half the trip fussing.

There are those days. And I'm sure the pizza didn't hurt anyone's outlook, including Justin's, who found left over pizza waiting for him in the fridge when he got home from work.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kate-isms

Kate to Justin: I'm going to eat you all up, and turn you into a skeleton, and set you out for Halloween.

* * * * *

As I gave Kate a banana for snack, "Not again!"

"What do you mean again, you didn't have a banana yesterday?" I ask.

"I had fruit snacks at MOPS yesterday, so it's the same thing. They're both fruit."

*Yep. And ketchup is a vegetable*

Friday, May 14, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Favorite Books

I'm participating in the Show Us Your Life blog carnival at Kelly's Corner.

I love books! I haven't been reading as much these days with the three little ones, but as a kid I would walk out of the public library with a stack so high I could barely balance them. I read Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie. Then I fell in love with Anne of Green Gables. I read everything that I could get my hands on from L. M. Montgomery.

In recent years I've read the Harry Potter series. I also read several of Louisa May Alcott's other works (besides Little Women, which I've always loved and hated at the same time--I still think she married the wrong fellow, but I can forgive it when I read the other books in the series. In college I read most of Jane Austin's works that we kept on hand at the library. I worked there, which is great for a reader. During the summer I would keep two copies of a book going, one at home and one there for my breaks.

I love Les Miserables. We read the abridged version when I was in high school. I work on the unabridged from time to time, but if you've ever seen it, it is quite a large manuscript and with the munchkins it doesn't get a lot of my time. I'm also in the process of reading Jane Eyre, if you call it still reading it--I read it last two days before Nate was born!

As for my children, the girls love books too...and Nate likes to chew on them. We've had a great deal of fun sharing books with them. Some of my favorites are Prayer for a Child (I fell in love with this book while taking a children's literature class in college and bought a copy--now we own three! One is paper paged, not a good idea with little ones, then one board book of it was destroyed, so we have the big board book now.), Horns to Toes and in Between, Who Loves Baby (an album to put pictures of people who love baby in), and Guess How Much I Love You. I could go on and on about books, but those are some of my very favorites.

I wish I could show you pictures of some of our books, but a great many of them are packed away at the moment. We did let the girls each pick out a nice stack to keep out with a promise to head to the library if we need to!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Half a Year!


I'm not quite sure how it happened, but the baby boy is six months old!

If I had to pick a word to sum up this month it would be movement. Nate's been in constant motion.

He's learned to really crawl this month, but even before that he was creeping at an amazing pace.


One minute he would be in the middle of the living room and the next he'd be under the kitchen table. Through all his movement he's found the cords for the computer, the bathroom rug, and the girls toys that they frequently leave in the floor. He's also taking his first assisted steps (with us holding his hands). He needs a good bit of assistance right now, but I'm sure that he will be taking off before I can believe it.

He stands briefly at the ottoman or leaning against us as well.



Then his favorite game is to crawl head first into his car seat and rock it!


video


This month he's started eating fruits and more veggies in addition to cereal, peas, and green beans. Some of it is jarred and some homemade. I especially like the jarred foods for the introduction to a food, so I'm sure to get three solid days of it, where as I just use a food mill to grind up food I've made for us for his home made food. He's had quite the variety already and really seemed to like carrots and pears.

His favorite song seems to be Jesus Loves Me this month, probably out of sheer repetitiveness. Gabby asks to sing it every night, so he's been hearing it at least once a day for nearly a year now.


Happy Half Birthday Little Man!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Birthday!


Happy birthday to my husband, who works hard and doesn't get mad at me, even when I loose my cell phone.



I love you. Thank you for marrying me and loving me and our munchkins.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

Celebrating that I get to be Mama to these three munchkins!



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nashville

I grew up just an hour north of Nashville as a kid. I've walked through the Opryland Hotel, I used to visit the theme park (which is now a flooded mall), I ice skated, ate at Hard Rock, attended the Opry, perused the museums, visited friends and family in the bigger hospitals, and I spent time there with my extended family for holidays and other celebrations.

I've seen horrifying pictures this week. People have lost their homes, places of work, even their earthly lives. It's so sad. Nashville is not only a place I used to visit, it's soon to be our new home. So many people there have lost so much and so few have flood insurance. It stinks that we'll be paying on this house as we leave it behind, but can you imagine loosing your home and all your earthly possessions and still having 15 or 20 years left on a mortgage for a house that is uninhabitable? The people there are working together, but there is going to be a long struggle to recover from this flood. Can you pray or give or both?

Red Cross
UMCOR
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee



Friday, May 7, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Kids' Names

This is a part of the blog carnival Show Us Your Life at Kelly's Corner.

We have had the pleasure of naming three little munchkins:


Katherine Elizabeth
is named after one of my students who passed away when I was teaching (Katherine) and Elizabeth is a family name on both sides, including being my cousin's middle name.


Gabriella Georgia-Marie
is named after my Grannie (Georgia) and my Grandma's middle name was Marie. Her first name is all her own.


Nathaniel Michael
is named after my husband's dear friend (Michael). Nathaniel took a very long time for us to agree on, after debating everything from Ehud to Thaddeus and William to Phineas, so Nate it is!

We did have another girl's name chosen, since we didn't know Nate's gender. I don't know that we'll ever get to use it, but I'll keep it our secret just in case we some day are granted another little girl. It is a nod at Justin's paternal grandmother's name--he was already named after his grandfathers.

We've chosen longer more formal names that can be shortened, so that they are all at least somewhat similar in style. But you can see they all march to the beat of their own drummer!