Friday, April 24, 2009

Multiples and More!

Just real quick, I wanted to mention a blog I have recently discovered...Multiples and More. You can get to it by clicking on the button in the right-hand sidebar. It is a blog network for families with multiples.

A couple of weeks ago they had an interview with a grownup triplet. She talked about her experiences, good and bad, growing up as one third of "the triplets." I found it really interesting to read about triplethood from her perspective. It was quite a change from reading about multiples from the perspective of the parents!

Anyway, I just wanted to mention it and tell you all to go check it out! They have lots of giveaways (right now there is a giveaway to win a copy of Jon and Kate's new book Multiple Blessings) and there is also a cutest multiples contest going on (it ends soon so if you want to enter, HURRY!).

Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easter Eggs

This was the first year that I felt the kids were old enough to dye Easter eggs. To have done it before now would have been chaos, I think. It was a little chaotic even now, but the kids LOVED it!

Also, as luck would have it, the day that Gammy, Granny Kat, and Aunt Jayne all came to visit, it was raining and therefore the perfect opportunity to dye eggs! Lots of children and lots of helpers!
I was a little nervous about the eggs because I didn't boil them. I BAKED them! It was Alton Brown's (I'm Just Here for the Food) recommendation for hard cooking a large quantity of eggs at once. It was super-easy, and they turned out great! I wish I had taken a picture of all the eggs on the rack in the oven! It looked really strange! (In case you're interested: put eggs straight onto rack in middle of cold oven, 30 minutes at 325, remove eggs to ice water bath until chilled, done! But be warned, the baking process does cause the eggs to exude some sort of moisture droplets which then burn on the egg's surface like polka dots, so if you want pristinely white eggs, don't bake them!)

The set up: 2 old towels, 1 old t-shirt, 9 plastic cups filled with dye, 5 excited toddlers, 1 large bowl of eggs, 5 large plastic bibs, 5 excited adults (all female, of course!), 2 cameras

The kids enjoyed every part of the experience. They liked choosing their own eggs from the bowl. They liked choosing their own dye color and dropping the egg into the cup. They liked spooning the egg out to see the color. They were so disappointed when we ran out of eggs!

Zachary chooses the perfect egg

Reagan checks out the progress of her egg

Jonathan drops his egg into the dye (the kids particularly enjoyed it when the dropping egg splashed dye everywhere! Hooray for old towels and big bibs!)

Cousin Tyler checks out his egg's progress

Look at Thomas' face! He is so proud of himself!

Here are the kids with some of the finished eggs. They wouldn't all fit on the little drying rack. They were so proud of themselves and their beautiful eggs! And I was so proud of them too! I had no idea they would enjoy it so much! And I'm so grateful for all the help! I can't imaging trying to do that without all the extra adults! Not at this age, anyway!
If only they had eaten the eggs with as much enthusiasm as they dyed them! They were all about wanting to have an egg on their plates and pick out the color they wanted and watch me peel it, but not so much on the actual egg consumption. Jonathan ate best, a shock to us all! Oh, well! More for me!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Talking with Toddlers

Okay, first, here's the one I couldn't remember in my last "Talking with Toddlers" post:

bathing soup--what my kids, particularly the boys, call a bathing suit

Now, an entertaining conversation I had with Zachary the other night...

The kids had been in bed for at least an hour and a half, and I kept hearing this banging noise, like one of them was kicking the wall. I asked Jim if he thought it was the kids making that noise because I was surprised that any of them was still awake. He predicted it was Zachary. I quietly entered their room. It was very dark, but I could sense movement in the Zachary corner. I went over a knelt down beside his bed and could see that he was indeed awake. We had the following whispered conversation:

Me: Zachary, were you banging on the wall?

Zachary: It was Thomas!

Hmmm. So I get up and walk over to the Thomas corner where I find Thomas sound asleep. I return to Zachary.

Me: Honey, Thomas is asleep.

Zachary: Thomas is asleep and Jonathan is asleep and Reagan is asleep but my eyes are open.

Me: (already amused) Yes, but your eyes need to be closed so you can go to sleep.

Zachary looked at me for another second, then closed his eyes and started FAKE SNORING! He continued to "snore" as I hurried from the room, trying not to laugh out loud!

That child can test my patience and sanity more than any of the other three, but when he is adorable, he is really, REALLY adorable!

Have a great weekend everyone!


As I was getting ready this morning, it hit me! The thing I love about Jim that I had meant to put on my list yesterday but then couldn't remember when I sat down to type it out. I was so mad at myself for forgetting this particular quality, that I went back and revised my list. So feel free to go back and read the list again! If you share this quality with Jim, you'll be sure to notice which item is new. If you don't, well, that's okay too!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today marks nine years that Jim and I have been married! In honor of my sweet husband and our nine years together, here are nine things that I love about him:

1. I love that he makes dinner for me every night!

2. I love that he is so handy around the house and can fix almost anything!

3. I love that he cares so much about the state of this country!

4. I love that he has an answer for every question, even if it's a wrong one!

5. I love that he makes pancakes every Saturday morning and doesn't mind when the kids eat so many that he doesn't even get one!

6. I love that he is so outgoing and talkative and has been such a help in bringing me out of my introverted shell!

7. I love that he is a trained noticer (just like Barney Fife)

8. I love that even with my post-quad belly, he still thinks I'm beautiful!

9. I love that he loves God and me and our children so much more than he loves himself!

Thank you, Jim, for nine wonderful years! I love you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reagan Had a Little Lamb

...and so did Jonathan...
...and Zachary...
Okay, it's all the same lamb, and we just played with it at Carter's house. The lamb actually belongs to a friend of Carter's grandma who was nice enough to bring it over to Carter's for a pre-Easter petting bash, and Carter was nice enough to invite us over to join in the fun!
There was also a couple of chicks (Carter's favorite!)...

Thomas pets the chicks while mom protects them

...and a duckling that all of my kids referred to as "Ming-Ming" (that's the name of the duckling on The Wonder Pets, in case you didn't know)

There was also a baby goat, but we didn't get any good pictures of it. So there was quite a little zoo for the children to explore, and many baby animals for Momma to rescue from the overly enthusiastic love of several toddlers! It was fun, but I'll bet my kiddos spent more time playing on Carter's swingset than they did with the animals!

Ahoy, matey!

Future Olympic star!

Future mountain climbers!

It was great fun and got us all in the mood for Easter! We had quite a jam-packed, fun-filled Easter weekend too, so stay tuned for all the festivities! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!
Happy Belated Easter!
Have a great week!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Talking with Toddlers

Just a few more cute things the kids are saying these days...

"That scared my ears" which means that noise was very loud (Thomas and Jonathan)

"a dozerbull" Jonathan for bulldozer

"That's the sound that comes out of my mouth!" This is what Jonathan likes to say after making his new strange air blowing through teeth sound. I don't really know how to describe it. Maybe I can get it on tape. This comment is also sometimes accompanied by this one: "That's the sound that comes out of my bottom!" I let you figure that one out for yourself!

There's another one I wanted to share, but I can't think of it right now. Sorry! I wish I had gotten on tape the kids telling Jim happy birthday today and showing off the painting masterpiece they did for him with my wonderful, ambitious helpers while I was out. Pics soon!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Potty Pain, Potty Pride

November 2008: Potty Plans A (Ambitious)and B (Back Off) are failures (See Potty Time Pain)

January 2009: Potty Plan C (Cautious) is a failure.

I never even told you about this one. It involved just Jonathan (because he truly is ready to use the potty, the stubborn little monkey!) and a bunch of Easy-ups. Three days of Easy-ups, LOTS of trips to the potty with an increasingly defiant child who could care less about any incentive I threw his way, and not one single successful potty usage. Conclusion: Jonathan will never do anything one moment before he is ready. One of these days, he will simply decide to use the potty and just will and never look back, but it will HAVE to be HIS decision!

March 2009: Potty Plan D (Determined, Dadgumit!) is a SUCCESS!!!!!

Here's what I did: I focused just on Reagan because she's a girl (doesn't EVERYONE say they're easier?) and she responds well to incentives! When she got up in the morning, she went into real underwear, and she stayed in real underwear all day, naptime included. No diapers until bedtime. I made her a Potty Page to hang on the wall in the bathroom. Every time she sat on the potty, regardless of actual pottying, she got 2 little stickers, one for her Potty Page and one for her shirt. If she actually DID something in the potty, she got 2 BIG stickers and two pieces of candy (M&Ms or Skittles). When she had an accident, we cleaned up, got dry clothes, and I told her it was okay and she'd remember next time. (Thanks, Gwen, for that last part!) I never MADE her sit on the potty, but I did ask her often if she wanted to, and she always did. She loved getting the stickers!

I based this plan on what I had read about the 3-day Potty Training Method. I don't have all the details about this method because I'm too cheap to pay for them, but I had a basic idea and was hoping for a breakthrough by the end of the third day.

The first day, we sat on the potty 18 times, had 5 accidents, and no success. The next day we sat on the potty 15 times, had 8 accidents, and 1 SUCCESS!!!! On day three, we sat on the potty 11 times, had only 2 accidents, but no success. It wasn't exactly the breakthrough I was anticipating. Nevertheless, I pressed on and continued with the plan since Reagan was still very excited about being "big" and wearing her underwear. She loves the underwear! All those pink and purple hearts and flowers! She has been in underwear all day ever since, with the exception of when we leave the house. I'm not ready to deal with accidents in public, so she has princess Pull-ups for outings, but honestly she doesn't like wearing them!

Obviously I expected to need lots of room for all the big stickers on Day 3. Alas.

She had her second success on day 4, and another on day 6, and THEN CAME THE BIG DAY!

On day 8, she successfully used the potty SIX TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! Six! Since that breakthrough day she has never had more than 2 accidents in a day, she has quit wetting the bed at naptime, she is successful almost every time she sits on the potty, and we've even had 2 days with no accidents at all! I'm so proud of her!

Today is day 17. On Monday I changed the reward system to reflect her growing abilities. She has a new Potty Page. Every time she does #1 in the potty she gets 2 little stickers. If she does #2, she gets 2 big stickers. She gets candy before naptime and before bedtime only if she has completed that half of the day accident-free.

These potty days have gone by really fast! Actually I was surprised when I counted this week and realized we were on day 17! But I'll tell you I had no idea it would be so EXHAUSTING!!! Running to the potty every 2 seconds and cleaning up accidents and keeping up with stickers and potty pages and candy and being supportive in the bathroom while still trying to monitor the other three children running amuck and unattended, not to mention the additional laundry and the loss of some of my naptime because I need to rush in there as soon as the kids wake up to get Reagan to the potty before she has an accident and still trying to get done all the things I need to get's exhausting to type it, imagine living it! I can't imagine trying to do this with more than one child at a time! What was I thinking in Plan A? I was crazy! One potty trainer at a time is PLENTY!

So that is where we are right now. I'll keep you posted on future developments! And good luck to all of you other potty trainers out there!

Memphis Drama

I got so caught up in getting pics of the Memphis trip onto the blog, that I forgot to mention the dramatic moments of the first couple of days!

We arrived in Memphis on Friday. On Saturday, Jonathan started wheezing. He had a slight runny nose, but nothing impressive, certainly not as bad as other runny noses he has had. No fever, acted normal. He has never wheezed before that I can remember, so it was very strange for him to be wheezing! As the day wore on, his wheezing got worse. Late afternoon, my sister, a pediatric nurse, came over and listened to him breath and wheeze. She suggested breathing treatments to see if that helped. It made sense to me. I knew that if we had been at home, we would have done that already, since that has always been prescribed for breathing issues on the kids.

PROBLEM: I didn't bring the nebulizer or medicine with me! (A nebulizer is a machine that turns liquid medicine into a breathable mist) It never occurred to me that I might need them! So Jodie got us a spacer (which we also had at home and used on Thomas when he was little. It's a plastic tube with a little mask on one end. Medicine comes in an inhaler, like for asthma, and attaches to the other end. Puffs go into the tube to be breathed through the mask.) and the inhaler version of basically the same medicine that we use in the nebulizer.

We gave him a treatment and he did sound better afterwards, but he HATED the treatment! We gave him one more before he went to bed. He slept very poorly, constantly waking up and crying and still wheezing. I brought him in bed with me after awhile and listened to him breath. I tried to give him another treatment in the night, but he just screamed, so I quit. I laid in bed for hours listening to his breathing get worse, and debating whether I needed to get up and take him to the ER because his breathing sounded so awful he couldn't possibly be getting enough oxygen in his body and if I kept waiting he would surely suffocate RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!!!. I had just decided to get up when he suddenly sounded better. He fell asleep and his wheezing got better and better. He slept soundly, and then I fell asleep too. In the morning, he wasn't wheezing at all!

But it started up again after he had been awake a couple hours. Fearing a repeat of yesterday, I decided to take him to a LeBonheur urgent care office. Bud went with me (Thank you again!) and we saw a dr. Jonathan certainly did not ACT sick! His O2 was normal and the dr said the wheezing didn't seem to be in his lungs, although I feel certain it was the night before! He prescribed Orapred and breathing treatments with the spacer just like we had been doing. I was glad of that since I had felt some guilt about giving him medicine that hadn't technically been prescribed for him. (Feel free to chastise me next time we're at the office, Molly!)

He got a breathing treatment at the office and two more later in the day and never wheezed again! Thank goodness! I can guarantee you we will never go on another trip without the breathing medicine!