Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas (take 2 & 3)

Christmas part 2 came to us after a LONG drive from Denver to the Lou. Leaving at 3a.m. is perfect for the twins. They sleep a good 3-4 hours at the beginning of the trip and then another hour or so after lunch and we arrive just in time for dinner & bed. Shorty is not quite as fond of going back to sleep, but he is in a zone for at least 2 hours. So it works.

The boys (and the rest of us) were inundated -- by my parents -- with enough gifts that they didn't even know what to do with themselves after a while. Buzz and Woody made appearances in the form of stuffed toys, blankets, books, and movies. Everything Buzz belongs to Mr. N, who keeps repeating, "Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!" while Woody is Mr. W's favorite by far, and even has to be tucked into bed with the little man every night.

Christmas part 3 required another drive, nearly as long as the first. *barf* But involved lots of aunt, uncle, and cousin fun! N & his cousin Kayleigh are born buddies -- perfect playmates. Neither one has ever known a stranger. N's philosophy is "I'm here to play; tell me what to do." Kayleigh's is "Let me tell you the best way to play." She's going to get him into a lot of trouble one of these days! W had a great time, too & was able to remember cousins he hasn't seen in half a year just at the mention of names.

Me: We're going to cousin Drew's house. We love cousin Drew.
W: Yes. (PINTER PAUSE) He scary.

I found it hard not to laugh. W did eventually warm up to my cousin, but it took some doing. Shorty, on the other hand, is not fond of parties or strangers (and my family is strange). On top of that, he had a head cold that was making him extra-irritable. He napped in the corner for a while and then insisted on being held with a binky in his mouth and a blankie over his head for the rest of the evening.

As always, we followed up with karaoke & the LONG return trip to St. Louis.

Not looking forward to the rest of the drive back to the Rocky Mts.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas (take 1)

We had our first round of Christmases this past weekend, hosted by my fabulous mother-in-law. She always puts on a great feast & the kiddos LOVE her & all her energy. Here are a few favorite quotes from the day:

(in the car heading to Grandma's house)
W: That present for Auntie Jo?
N: NO! It Jesus' birthday! That present for Jesus!

(relaxing at Grandma's house)
N: (points to Auntie's pregnant belly) That's Baby Cousin.
Auntie: Yes, it is.
N: (looking very concerned) He too big. He has to come out now.

(opening a Thomas tent & tunnel from Auntie & Uncle)
W: (hands on his cheeks, Macaulay Culkin style) OH MY! OH MY! OH MY!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

45 Minutes

Thing 1 & Thing 2 have (mostly) given up their nap.

Occasionally, they will pass out from sheer exhaustion. And if we are in the car, they are out light lights. But for the most part, "nap time" has become "room time" until the Little One wakes up from his nap.

Now the older 2, when they switched to just 1 nap & up until just recently, would sleep for a good 2-3 hours. Beautiful. Time for Mommy to relax AND get some chores done.

Shorty, though, doesn't think he needs sleep. I put him in his room, have potty break for the twins, get them into their room to play, clean up their lunch, make my own, and sit down to eat. Just in time for him to wake up.

It's throwing off my mommy mojo.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Today was a long day...and tonight is poker night...and there was a lot of cleaning that needed to happen before the basement was poker-ready...

Today's advent activity was supposed to be "Make a gingerbread train."

My children cannot read.

We told them it said "Eggnog for dessert."

Much easier. And they were still happy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

oh, their little brains.

Scene: Thanksgiving Day. The appetizers are out. The grandparents, aunts, uncles all are present. The boss and his wife are walking up the sidewalk ready to join the party. The little ones are napping. Or are they?

Mom: It sounds like the twins are having WAY too much fun up there. I'll go up and see if I can settle them down and tuck them into bed.

Dad: That sounds like a great idea. They really need a nap.

Mom walks up the stairs to the children's bedroom and slowly opens the door only to discover quite a mess.

Twin A: Hi, Mom

Twin B: Mommy, I has poop in mine pants. And on a floor.

Mom: On the floor, buddy? Yuck. You know where to put your poop, right?

Twin B: Yes. On a potty.

Mom: Right. Looks around room. Notices poop on walls. Buddy, you didn't TOUCH the poop, did you?

Twin B: Yes! I THROWING AND THROWING the poop!

As curtain falls, Mom tries to look stern, but turns toward audience and chuckles.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Apparently, we have forgotten what those 4 simple little letters at the end of an invitation mean. You know the ones I'm talking about "RSVP."

I was always under the impression that it stood for "répondez s'il vous plaît," meaning "please respond." However, either this isn't common knowledge or people are incredibly rude.

Seriously, when the number of invited guests actually attending a party could be anywhere from 18 to 48 depending on whether or not those 30 people who didn't bother to respond actually show up at the door.

Is there some way we can have a bouncer at the door of weddings and showers and birthday parties stationed at a table so the non-responders can leave their gift and then head home? Or how about a wrist band method where only those on the "list" get a wrist band and are entitled to things like food, a place to sit, and a party favor?

I like it.

Let's do it.

But, somehow, I think WE would be the ones considered "rude" in this little scenario.

Let's do it anyway.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

excuse me while i, i mean blog

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. . . and all is still not right with the world of Daylight Savings Time (or lack thereof, I really don't know which is which -- I just know I "fell back" and have not yet gotten up).

Try as I might, I can't convince the kiddos that yes, it is light outside but no, it is NOT time to get up yet.

My mornings used to be so lovely:
5.30 a.m. -- alarm
5.45 a.m. -- out of bed followed by a leisurely cup of coffee, breakfast of whatever I wanted, and plenty of time for my morning devotional, maybe a shower (and perhaps even unload the dishwasher or get some laundry in)
7.30 a.m. -- bring the still-groggy little ones downstairs for breakfast and Super Why


As you can imagine, my days are starting out the same way. Unfortunately, around 6.15 I am frantically trying to put the little one back to sleep (and failing) while the big boys pound on the door and shout about morning time. My coffee grows cold on the kitchen table next to a Bible study with only 1 question answered and a bowl of soggy cereal. There is certainly no shower. And getting anything else done? Ha! No way.

Let's not even discuss the crankiness that comes with trying to adjust meals and naps.

Whose brilliant idea was this whole time change business, anyway? It wasn't a mother of young children, I can tell you that much.

On the bright side, I guess I could theoretically get out & get my errands done and get home in time for Sesame Street at nine (don't judge my knowledge of morning PBS schedules).

That is.

If anything besides Wal-Mart were open before 9 a.m.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birthday Business...a recap

Well, it's been a long time coming, but here's a really speedy recap of 2 birthday parties for 3 little boys.

First, it was Shorty's 1st birthday. We had a lot of green stuff left over from last year's Oz fiesta for the twins, so that got me thinking about reusing some of it. Which led to all things green and what little boys love. Naturally, this led to frogs. I must admit that, as this party developed, I didn't really end up reusing much from last year. Oh well. It was cute anyway.

The cake & some of the party hats:
We also had cattails (chocolate-dipped pretzels), worms (veggie sticks), swamp punch, sandwiches with no clever name, and an assortment of green fruit to munch on.

The kiddos played outside with tons of toy frogs, sand, water, a bubble maker, and all of our other toys. They went home with little galvanized buckets with toy frogs and bubbles and kazoos.

Here's the birthday boy and his cupcake.
In case you didn't know, that is a squeal of pure joy.

Next, on to the Dynamic Duo. They love Batman & Robin and watch the old-school movie over and over again. So that made it easy to decide on a party theme (and Halloween costumes).

Here's the cake & cupcakes -- it's hard to see, but there's a Batman & a Robin action figure on top of each cupcake stand:
No, they didn't turn 33.

Also served up were Catwoman's claws (Bugles), Penguin's party chips & dip (served in a "top hat"), Hero sandwiches, Mr. Freeze's ice cream, and Poison Ivy punch (same green punch as for the froggy party). The kids made their own super hero capes & masks and played and played.

Here are the little heroes opening up some presents:
Hooray for parties!

Hooray they are D.O.N.E.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Just 2 quick pics from Halloween. It's going to be difficult to top this year's theme. We loved it (well, I'm not so sure I loved my pants). The boys were more than enthusiastic about their costumes. It was colorful & cute & not one bit scary (again, except perhaps for my pants).

Here are the cuties:

Here we all are attempting a family photo back home after Neewollah Palooza:

As for next year, we currently have 2 ideas in the mix and are, of course, open to suggestions. Got any ideas for our family of 5?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

oh, yeah. in case you were wondering.

It took me so much by surprise that I forgot to take a picture on the official "day of," but W is now POTTY TRAINED.

Here he is sporting his Big Boy Underpants:

Who's got the power, the power to pee?

Seriously, one day about 2ish weeks back as we were getting ready for bed, Stinky announced that he needed to "pee on a potty." I didn't take him very seriously, as he had been requesting to do this with no luck for a long, long, LONG time. I almost told him, "no," but I decided to indulge him that night. I wasn't even paying attention. Probably, I was working on getting one of the other 2 into pajamas.

All of a sudden, I heard a little tinkle and a proud voice exclaiming "Mommy, I PEED!" He was hit or miss for a day or two, then I switched him to cloth training pants and put together a potty chart just for him -- no twin to share it with this time.

Well, the potty chart is still pretty empty, since he prefers to wear his stickers on his face, but he is dry almost all the time.

Going #2 was a different story. He'd wait for a naptime or bedtime diaper & fill it almost immediately. I told him he could wear Big Boy Underpants as soon as he started to put his poop in the potty. Daddy even promised 5 stickers and 5 m&m's (as opposed to the usual 2 of each).

No luck.

Until suddenly, 3 days before his 3rd birthday, Grandad was headed upstairs to get some training pants for the little guy & told him to wait on the potty for him and W decided that was the perfect time to prove to us all that he could, in fact, poop on the potty.

After all of that, he's even better at holding it and getting there on time than his brother.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

fuzzy teeth

I'm sitting here, thinking I should post about something fun (like maybe a month-overdue post about the Little Man's birthday), but the thought that keeps taking over my mind is that my teeth are fuzzy. I'm trying to remember when the last time I brushed them was.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Or because I have broccoli between my incisors.

Seriously, I don't know when I last groomed myself. I should probably go take care of that now, but I've waited this long -- what's another few minutes while I justify my filth?

On Sunday Shorty was cranky and fell asleep during church. The cranky part is not that unusual -- he is having a few months of hating the nursery -- but the falling asleep part was odd. We had some good friends for dinner (I could also be blogging about the close-enough-to-vegan-to-satisfy feast I cooked up in courses, but no). Then, as they were getting ready to head home, the little one started crying. He had a fever. Later he vomited (in my hair). He didn't sleep more than 30 minutes at a time all night long.

Monday morning he stuffed his face with Kix and then lost them (into my hair), but his fever was down and he didn't puke again all day. Around midnight, his fever shot way back up (way) and he puked 3 more times (in my hair). After spending some time on the phone with the nurse line, I headed to the ER with him. It was 3 a.m.

4 a.m. I was back home with him with the diagnosis of "just a virus" and the solution of "wait it out."

Tuesday at lunch W decided that he would rather go lie down than eat his mac and cheese. This is unheard of from the one who can't stop running long enough to think about a nap (the party is always in his bed) and just passes out while playing. Uh-oh. He woke up crying and writhing and burning up. He lay on the sofa in the afternoon until he puked (thank goodness, not in my hair).

Last night, 2 out of 3 were a bit cranky and fitful. Every few hours the crying had to be stopped. Today, we are without fevers, without vomit, but still pretty high maintenance with lots of tears and whining.

And that, my friends, is why my teeth are fuzzy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Some folks like to complain about living as a lefty in a righty's world. Perhaps that is frustrating. But as I have learned over the past year, left handed folks aren't the only ones that this world of ours was not designed for.

Moms with three under three face our own fare share of glitches, frustrations, and general annoyances. Some might even go so far as to call it discrimination.

I'm not that girl.

Well, maybe some days I am. But not today. Today I just call it irritating.

Let's think about some of life's most basic tasks & how, when you've got three under three you become acutely aware that the folks who did the design work didn't have you in mind.

Should I start with cars, carseats, the LATCH system & the like? When you just have one of those rear-facing monstrosities to fit into your vehicle, it can -- if you are lucky -- go in the middle of the back and not cause too much discomfort to either of the front-seat-riding individuals. If you aren't so lucky, then it plops behind the passenger seat & really isn't even an issue most of the time. Now, when you've got TWO of those beasts to try and squeeze into the back of a car, there is no escaping the necessity of scooting the front seats forward & riding a little bit closer to the steering wheel than was previously necessary. Add to this that my hubby and I are both over six feet tall, and you've got some serious discomfort going on. We were actually car shopping when I was 8 months pregnant with the twins and were amazed to discover that even the biggest of the big vehicles were lacking in this area. Oh, and all of those adds that say it's safer to keep your kid rear-facing until he is two or even three . . . oh, I'm sure it's safer for the kid, but there comes a day when you climb into the car and realize that if you were to get into an accident, you are sitting close enough to the steering wheel that the driver's-side airbag is going to go right through you. That is the day you get on the scale with your 1-year-old(s) and thank the good Lord above that he(they) is(are) over 20 pounds.

And then we added one more to the mix. You know how minivans are supposed to be family vehicles and all of that. Well, would you believe that the vast majority of them only have LATCH systems for 3 car seats -- the middle bucket seats and then one more that takes up 2 of the 3 spots on the bench seat in the back. They also don't have locking seat belts as an option for installing car seats. Nice. So I have twins that cry when separated (so they are in the middle), and a baby in a rear-facer that I have to climb around and over to even get into his seat in the very back. Sure hope he doesn't need anything while I'm driving.

What about the grocery store now that I've got 3 under 3? With just the 2 it was usually okay. Most of the stores these days (at least the mega-stores) offer those enormous carts with the extension on the front that you can get 2 kiddos into and still have the whole cart free. Worst case scenario, one in the seat & one in the basket with food piled around him while I give constant admonitions to sit down, sit down, sit down. However, now that I've got one more, I have discovered a problem. It took a while for me to notice, though. When shorty was in the pop-out infant bucket, I just plunked him in the "seat" of the shopping cart, strapped his brothers into the big boy chairs, and off we went. The first time I went to the store after he had gotten too big for that car seat, though, I discovered that the leg holes of the "seat" of the cart were covered over, there was no seat belt, and there was a notice that said that area as for "merchandise only." Fantastic. The little guy is not nearly old enough to ride even close to safely in the basket. Now, the twins are old enough that they CAN walk beside me but it makes for a much slower trip to the store, a lot of fear that they are grabbing something breakable off the shelf, and the constant danger that one or both of them will wander away while I am not looking. They haven't quite become responsible citizens yet. Go figure. So, more often than not, I end up with a regular cart, the baby strapped into the seat, and two nearly three-year-old little boys kicking and pushing each other in the basket while I try desperately to pile the groceries around them in a way that will neither injure them nor harm the food.

Our community swimming pool -- oh, how much fun I had imagined we would have there this summer. Until, that is, I realized that there were absolutely no flotation devices allowed. Not in the big pool and not in the kiddie pool, either. So, there we were in the kiddie pool. It's a foot and a half deep, so it is up to the chins of the dynamic duo (who flail helplessly face down if they slip) and the little one has to be held. I was a nervous wreck. And we didn't go back. Do you think I can get some money back from the HOA since their rules make it impossible to use the facilities?

Speaking of swimming. We are finally getting Thing 1 and Thing 2 some swimming lessons this fall. We had wanted to do it earlier, but -- guess what -- it's not really set up for a family like ours. For kiddos under 3, the only classes offered are "Mommy and Me." That's fantastic and all, but how do you do "Mommy and Me . . . and Me . . . oh, and Me Too!"?

So. I should stop before this gets long. What? It's already long? So sorry. And to think, I only just scratched the surface.

Monday, August 30, 2010

what's up?

Time is slipping away from me as we enter into our "busy season" here at the house.

September...Shorty's 1st B-day party:

frogs, bogs, and all things green and slimy for our little Prince Charming! Hop on by!

October...the Dynamic Duo turn 3! What was that? Did I just drop a hint to the theme? Why yes, I did. Grab your cape & drop in!

October, continued...Halloween. Need I say more? The hubby got to pick the costumes for this year after I made him participate in the Wizard of Oz theme last year. Let's just say I'm doing some situps in preparation!

November...a baby shower for the sister-in-law! Yay! I am sooo excited to be an Aunt and can't wait to throw this party for mommy and baby. However, I am a bit bitter that they aren't finding out gender. Boo.

November, continued...the whole fam comes to our casa for Thanksgiving. So fun.

December...Christmas travels!

After that, we are off the hook for a while. But in the meantime, life is a bit chaotic.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Brief Ode on the Wiggles

O Sam, Jeff, Anthony and Murray,
Of how you have saved my day
There is so much that I could say
If I weren't in such a hurry.

A baby's nap time screaming fit,
Tears, and wails, and stomping feet
Were there, my eyes and ears to meet
Until your songs put a stop to it.

A dog, an octopus, and a dino friend
Your silly songs and lively dance
Have joined together and by chance
My cranky baby's mood did mend.

Monday, August 2, 2010

yum & yum

I spent the morning at the park this morning with my friend Lauren who only lives about 45 minutes away, but for some reason we only see each other 2-3 times a year (and that's if we're really on the ball).

There were 5 little boys with us, all under 5 years old. And it was fun & not too stressful, really.

I was reminded that I needed to check out her new blog (yes, that's the same link as above...I just really like the blog). It's all about food. That's relatively easy & affordable. But is NOT meatloaf.

I am glad that I haven't gone shopping for the week yet, because I am most definitely adding a thing or two to the menu.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I've been home for nearly a week.

What have I been doing? (you mean besides dishes & laundry, of course)


Sweet. Blessed. Nothing.

Wonder how long that will last?

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Is it a "staycation" if you have to stay in the spot you were vacationing in? hmm.

On July 4th our holiday began with a 14ish-hour car ride from Our House to the Hometown. The big boys did very well. Mr. Fussy Pants, as the baby is now known, was a fussy pants. For 14ish hours. With nowhere for me to run to.

It is now July 18th and I am not back home. Nor am I going to be tomorrow. With any luck, we will be there Tuesday. Sixteen days after leaving.

We planned a few days to visit friends and acclimate to Granny & Grandad's house before I headed off to the Big Apple for 5 days for a lovely visit with my hubby. Then there were the days with Daddy back here. After that, we scheduled a few more "visiting" and "resting" kind of days before piling back into the car to head West.

What we did NOT plan was an ear infection, and not one - but two - barfing boys with fevers. Oh, and I forgot to mention the 3 nights of NO SLEEP FOR MOMMY that accompanied these unplanned adventures.

Our return trip was delayed one day when Shorty decided that sleeping was not something he could fathom while his ear hurt, no matter the amount of pain killers he was force-fed. It just didn't seem smart to drive after 2 sleepless nights, so postpone we did. Surely a full-night's sleep would help make the trip more enjoyable for all.

Then, as I was deciding where to pack everything, W suddenly had a fever and we were frantically changing sheets and pajamas and cleaning up the "essential" animals for sleeping. Not much later, N was highly upset because he had "made a mess" on the bed by regurgitating part of his dinner.

It was clear that we weren't leaving any time soon.

After our recovery day, we are feeling better, but not great. Mommy still hasn't had anywhere close to a full night's sleep. One more day...surely everyone will be healthy and rested if we just wait one more day.

This is the trip that never ends. It just goes on and on my friend...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

happy 8 years

in just a few short hours, i'll be kid-free and happily celebrating my 8th anniversary with a trip here, oh yes, i will:
and, just like mr. billy joel, i am in a New York state of mind.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


There he is. Mr. N sportin' his very own Big Boy Underpants. Complete with the always groovy Lightning McQueen.

(could he get any cuter?)
That's right, boys and girls, 1/2 of Double Trouble is officially...dare I say it...Potty Trained! He has accomplished such feats as:
  • Travelling to Super Target in cloth training pants and keeping them dry.
  • Waiting (!) to use the potty in said store because Mommy didn't really want to abandon a cart completely full of groceries to use the inconveniently located restroom at the front of the store (please do not bring unpaid merchandise...blah, blah, blah...whoever designed that one had no kids).
  • Stopping playing with 4 big boys to come up out of their basement to pee.
  • Getting out of the bathtub while Mommy was attending Baby Brother and pooping for the first time on the potty.
  • Waking up dry from nearly every nap and overnight!
I think the other half of the Dynamic Duo, however, is going to need to start all over again with a Relaunch of Potty Training Weekend. We still don't know if he can't figure it out or if he just doesn't care. Or some combination of the two. Oh, well.
One down. One to go. (well, two to go, but Shorty doesn't count yet, right?)

Monday, June 28, 2010

La Copa de la Vida

It only happens every four years.

And to be honest, this is only the 3rd time I've even given it any thought.

But the World Cup has invaded my house. And just like the other 2 times, it has taken over everything.

The first time I ever thought about it was 8 years ago when I was trying to plan a wedding date with this cute guy I used to know:
Anyway, I believe I was aiming somewhere around the beginning of June for the Big Day. He told me "no way" because that was the first round of something called the World Cup.
I was willing to be flexible. So I suggested the next week. And then the week after that.
That was when the handsome fella really started to push his luck. He told me that the competition lasted ONE MONTH and that we would have to wait until it was finished to get married.
It was either agree with him or spend the honeymoon watching futbol on the tele.
And that, my friends, is why we got married the 2nd week in July. In case you were wondering.
That memory makes me smile. And here are a few other things about the World Cup (a.k.a. the best sports tournament ever) that make me smile.
Shakira's song isn't doing it for me this year, but the official song of '98 always makes me happy.

I know some folks out there have complained about the noise, but, honestly, vuvuzelas don't bother me. Mini ones keep little boys happy for hours at a time. GOOOOOL!

And if cuteness could get you into the next World Cup, W would be in Brazil in 2014. Check out that skill!

ole, ole, ole, ole...ole...ole

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How's that workin' out for ya?

We have entered week two of the officially un-official potty training in my house. And may I say that it's rather inconvenient, to say the least?

In summary...the dynamic duo are on-again, off-again potty goers (well, W is mostly off again). N has successfully peed on the potty 7 times and pooped 1/2 a time (yes, that's not a typo...HALF a time... he had to finish up in his pants). W has not once peed on the potty and has pooped once. He screams and cries at the thought of actually putting something in there, despite the bribery. I'm thinking Shorty will be trainied before hard-headed W is. sheesh.

We may have to take some more drastic measures. What those measures are, I haven't a clue, but I'm about to take them.

I hear some stirring that signals the end of naptime and a trip to sit on the potty so they can read the books they like and get a happy face sticker for sitting there more than 25 seconds.

Ahhh the sweet smell of success.

Monday, June 14, 2010

La Dolce Vita

The hubby has been dying to watch this movie with me. So Saturday night, after all the kiddos were in bed, he found it on one of our 2 favorite online movie-viewing sites.

However, as the movie began to play, we realized (quickly) that there was a problem.

No Subtitles.

Granted, we did spend nearly a year living in Italy & worked really hard to have a working knowledge of the language. That, though, was 6 years ago. And we were talking with human beings who could speak more slowly, repeat, and even rephrase if necessary. The classic Fellini film, on the other hand, was going to prove to be more of a final exam than a relaxing pseudo date night.

So a-searching he did go.

And seemingly found a site where we could watch this movie for free with subtitles.

Clearly, it was not our night. A very strange virus quickly attacked our little laptop, which was already on it's last leg -- what with missing keys, random freezes, and a 30-second battery life.


The price of a sweep to the laptop was not worth it, considering the aforementioned condition of said computer. We took a deep breath & purchased a new one.

Aren't unexpected expenses fun?

This weekend we didn't think la vita was all that dolce, honestly.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Potty Training Weekend

Let the games begin!

We'd been talking it up for weeks. Bought stickers. Made the motivational chart. Picked out some Big Boy Underpants. Brought in some chocolate-flavored bribery. Practiced sitting on the potty like big boys. Learned that Elmo Can Use the Potty. Got the Pull-Ups and cloth training pants, too.

We were SO ready.

On Saturday morning, I rushed to the boys' room as soon as I heard movement. I reminded them about our Big Adventure this weekend where we would Learn to Use the Potty. They were excited to begin their morning with a bathroom trip.

On went the cloth training pants & down we went to breakfast. Within minutes, I noticed that both boys were squatting on their chairs rather than sitting. Upon closer inspection the reason for this was noted: each of them had a large puddle beneath them on the chair.


Day 1 progressed with little change to the pattern. A timer would sound every 45 minutes. To the potty we would go, sit, sing, read. Pants would go back on. Several minutes later, someone would comment, "Uh, oh. Mess."

I was beginning to think they just might not be ready. Although the fact that they never peed on the floor gave me pause.

Day 2 started with a bang. As I escorted Mr. N to the bathroom for his first-thing-in-the-morning potty sit, I could feel that he was beginning to pee in his diaper. I quickly asked if he could stop. "Yes," he responded. We took off his pants, he hopped up on the potty and peed.


But we celebrated. When I told the boys about N's reward for peeing on the potty, W stated matter-of-factly in his broken English, "He no pee potty. Pee stool." I couldn't disagree, but N got his reward anyway.

We had a short break from training so that the childcare workers at church didn't have a mess on their hands. In the afternoon, N had another success!

W on the other hand, informed me that he didn't want to pee on the potty. He wanted to save his pee for his pants. It may be a slow road with that one.

Friday, June 4, 2010

One Little Speckled Frog...

sitting on a speckled log, eating a most delicious fly-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay!

The boys love this song. We sing it all day long. Frogs are pretty much an obsession around here. We sing about them. We search every drop of water in the hopes that we will find one. We pretend to be them.


So when the hubby found one while helping to dig a trampoline pit (how cool is that) for a friend of ours, he decided without hesitation to bring it home and show the boys.

He put it in an empty planter.

In the sun.

Without water.

For several hours while they napped.

When they awoke, he immediately told them he had a surprise for them outside. They ran with him down stairs, out the back door, and into the back yard where they peered over the side of the planter and saw:

a very, very dead frog.

Did you know that rigormortis could set in in just an hour or so? It can. This poor little speckled frog was stiff as can be.

B even gave the planter a nice shake and a bang on the patio just in case the little guy was just sleeping so soundly he was unable to move (which, in fact, is pretty much what he told the boys the frog was doing).

What's funny is that seeing this dead frog didn't just make their day -- it made their week. They are still talking about the frog that Daddy surprised them with & how it was sleeping & that then it went to live at its new house, a.k.a the trash can.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010



We need to spice things up a bit this afternoon. I think we're going to pull out this baby:

There it is. Our ridiculously ornate, constantly sprinkling kiddie pool. The photo I found doesn't do it justice. It's silly, I know.

But I can honestly say that I didn't buy it myself. That's some consolation, isn't it? I think the boys would be just as happy if it were one of those $10 plastic pools they keep in the garden section of Wally World.

Oh, well.

It's either break out the pool or shop for underwear and training pants as I try to brace myself to actually TRY to potty train the twins.

Gee, I wonder which one sounds like more fun for the afternoon.

In case you can't figure it out, I'll give you a hint: I've been having nightmares about washing dirty big boy underpants.

Maybe I should just wait and train all 3 of them at once.

Or maybe we'll just play naked outside all summer.

I think I'll go set up the pool now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Same as it Ever Was or Once in a Lifetime?

Sometimes I tell myself, this is not my beautiful house. Sometimes I tell myself, this is not my beautiful yard.But it is, in fact, my beautiful house and my beautiful yard. I feel like we are under attack by the neighbor's trees. That is a branch that is taller than I am and as big around as my forearm lying in our grass (don't know if you can see my size 10 there to try to give perspective). And, apparently, the trees can now shoot daggers down into the yard with such force that they pierce the earth and stand at attention. Perhaps Mr. Backyard Neighbor should prune away the dead parts of his trees. All I can say is that it's a good thing we decided not to play outside on this particularly windy day.

Well, that's not all I can say. I will also say that this particular Neighbor (and I use the term loosely) has the audacity to be upset that our fence sits a few inches off the ground. Hmmm. Last time I checked, that wasn't threatening the life & safety of anyone in his household.

On a completely different but also entirely random note. I think Mr. W is from Mars. Seriously. After dinner yesterday, this is what he rejected as "yuck":
He cannot possibly be my child.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Come Down to This

It all started about a month ago when Thing 1 and Thing 2 discovered the joy that (apparently) is playing underneath the fitted sheets on their beds. Personally, I have never tried this, so I wouldn't know whether or not it's fun. They, however, were in complete agreement.

Night after night, we would find their toys still underneath there long after the boys had fallen fast asleep. If a car had gone missing, it was usually under the sheet. Occasionally, we even found one (or both) of them asleep on top of the mattress but under the fitted sheet.


This fun-with-the-beds activity has matured and advanced during the last week, however. The boys activated their wonder twin powers of naughtiness and started moving the mattresses off of the bed frames and into places that allowed for better jumping and sliding.

The hubby and I were not too thrilled with this, envisioning limbs stuck in bed slats and other grave injuries. So we quickly set to work disciplining the munchkins and convincing them that the fun that ensues is not worth suffering the consequences.

We started with sitting in the corner. They cried. They wailed. They said they wouldn't move the beds again. You know what else they did? They moved the beds.

Next we took most of their toys from their room. They screamed. They begged for the return of their toys. They understood that they could earn their toys back by not moving the beds again. Guess what? They moved the beds.

After that, we took ALL the toys from their room (including the beloved Yellow & Blue, blankets and pillows). They cried. They wailed. They pleaded for their stuff back. They said they wouldn't move the beds again. They moved the beds.

This time, Daddy gave them each a spanking. They wept. They were beside themselves with grief. They said they were sorry. They promised to be good. And then...they moved the beds.

And so this brings us to yesterday afternoon. Daddy was cleaning downstairs. Mommy had had enough.

What did they do at naptime? They moved the beds.

So what did I do? I moved the beds. Out of their room. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. And naps were taken on the floor of a very empty room. I then spent much of their naptime fixing the problem the only way I knew how:


And, boy, was that a bigger workout than I had anticipated. I was sweaty and cranky by the time all was said and done. But you know what? Last night...they didn't move their beds. Today at naptime...they didn't move their beds.

Now, it is a little bit hard to get the sheets on and looking nice...but I am pretty sure we will live. But I can't believe it had to come to this.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

uh oh!

it's official, shorty is on the move!

i wandered off to do something with his older brothers as usual. when i came back into the room where i had left him, he was in a strange location. how did he get there?

so i turned him around &, sure enough, he started sliding across the floor in search of toys.

he is lacking a little bit in style, honestly. but it is strangely reminiscent of his big brother n's early method.

it might morph into something classier, but for the moment that's not my biggest concern.

my biggest concern is that now, i not only have 3 children under 3 years old (all still in diapers, mind you)...i have 3 MOBILE children all under 3 years old.

life just got a lot more complicated.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How is God Revealing His Heart to You...

...through Your Journey of Motherhood?

This is the question I had the privilege of addressing this Mother's Day (along with my amazing friend Christina) during our worship service. I thought I'd share my answer with you and I hope that you will share your own answer with me by leaving a comment.

Before preparing what I wanted to say today, I thought I should take a look at my day-to-day life and see what I could learn. As a mom of 3 boys under 3 years old, I talk in short little bursts of two to three words at a time. I discovered that I spend a lot of my time every day saying things like:
· stop that
· calm down
· stop whining
· use your words
· just wait
· it’s alright
· you’ll be okay
· shhh
· stop
· relax
· take a deep breath
· settle down
I don’t like to shout over the commotion., I try to wait for the boys to calm down and be still so we can put on shoes, change dirty diapers, solve a conflict, or whatever it is that seems to be causing stress at that moment.
How often do I wish my children would settle down and just trust that I know what I’m doing; that I have their best interest at heart; that I am not going to hurt them. Instead they fight, they scre4am, they hit, they run away, they cry and whine, they insist on being independent and trying to do it themselves. It’s like thye don’t understand that I just want to take care of them – that it really is better to have a clean diaper than to continue to wear a nasty one, that medicine may taste bad but it will help them to feel better, that it is much safer to get in the car than to play in the parking lot, that peas really are better than cookies for dinner, that I’m not going to drop them, that when I tell them not to touch the stove it’s because it’s hot and they’re going to get burned.
Even when they don’t listen, when they touch that hot stove and burn their hands, I’m there taking care of them – comforting them in their hurt. I know which medicines to use and how to put on a Band aid just right. They just have to trust me to do it.
I find myself saying over and over, “Shhh…be still. Mommy’s here.”
That sounds very similar to what God says to us in Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God.
How often do I wish that I could just be still and trust that God knows what He’s doing, that He has what is best for me, that He wants to take care of me, that even the small things are things that matter to Him, that He’s got my back, that His grace is sufficient for me, that He ahs a plan for my life that is better by far than my own plan (even though it may be different).
There are so many different places in my daily life where I struggle to be still and to trust in Him. Day in and day out I fill my mind with things other than the word of God, things that can stand in the way of developing a closer relationship to Him. I place my confidence in things other than Him – my own abilities or finances, my husband, my friends, or my plans. I allow my emotions to dictate my actions, affect my decisions, or even justify inappropriate behavior. I let daily activities like laundry or dishes keep me away from quiet time with God.
God is saying to me, Meg:
· stop that
· calm down
· stop whining
· just wait
· it’s alright
· you’ll be okay
· shhh
· stop
· relax
· take a deep breath
· settle down
We moms are really good at calming down our little ones and taking care of them. Sometimes we forget that we need to stop trying to work everything out for ourselves in our lives. We need to sit down and be still, trust Him, and know that He’ll take care of it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

is it wrong?

Is it wrong that since my last post the moses basket has become my new best friend?

Not only will Little Britches sleep soundly in it for at least 2 hours twice a day, he is also content to just lie in it for unspecified amounts of time while I:
  • do the laundry
  • take a shower
  • give his brothers a bath
  • wash the dishes
  • surf the internet
  • update my facebook status
I can carry him from one room to another and pile the basket high with all the other things I would normally have to make several rips to get.

It is the perfect "chair" for the Little One, too, since he can be propped up against the edges (he normally throws himself violently to the floor when sitting upright). He is contained if he does decide to no longer sit, so I don't have to fear toys with tiny parts or stray craisins on the floor.

In short, it is the best babysitter I ever bought at Goodwill for under $3 and I highly recommend it. I wonder if it would work on the twins?

**disclaimer, this post was going to be some long and rambling parody of Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" but I thought better of forcing English teacher humor on the blogosphere. You can thank me later (cookies, for example, would be a great way to thank me)**

Sunday, April 18, 2010

swaddle twaddle

1. -noun- trivial, feeble, silly, or tedious talk or writing
2. -verb- to talk in a trivial, feebly, or silly manner; prate

Looking for a clever title for this post, I learned a new word. And I love it. Since I participate in it all the time. This post will be no exception.

We've been having a rough go if it lately in the madhouse in terms of naptime and Shorty. Naptime and his big brothers is a story for another post entirely, so we'll stick to the little one. He's my Good Sleeper. He's my Mellow Man. He's my Easy Baby.

But, Houston, we have a problem. He cannot, will not, sleep unswaddled.

I love swaddlers. Not just swaddling with a blanket like they do at a hospital, but really using velcro to turn sleeping babes into burritos.

I used swaddlers on the twins forever. They were so happy to be snug and slept soundly while swaddled. When they got bigger, they started busting out in the middle of the night. they would end up with one or both hands free and manage to put themselves back to sleep without issue. (Or as was the case in this photo, one would use his free limb to beat his brother). The transition from burrito boys to free men was a smooth path for them.

And since it was about the only thing smooth about their infancy, I naively assumed that my Easy Baby would also make a seamless transition at around the same age.

(Do you hear that laughter? That's God -- he really enjoys practical jokes)

The little one is a worm. A flip-flopper. A roly poly.

Within seconds of being placed on the floor, he's squirming everywhere. And, apparently, being bound tightly with fleece and velcro is not enough to stop him. The problem with this is that he ends up face planted in the mattress without his arms free to help him get to a comfortable and safe position, which means no nap or night is filled with sound sleep. He flips over and screams his fool head off until someone comes to the rescue.


Clearly, we need to make the switch to sleeping unswaddled. Clear to me. Clear to you. Not so clear to Captain Wiggles.

Not only does he not like to FALL asleep unswaddled, he also WAKES UP shortly after said sleep has been accomplished because *gasp* his arm moved.

Needless to say, this has been fun and games for all of us. My Easy Baby has been known as Mr. Cranky Pants around our house lately. Somebody help me! Finally...finally...after a week of crying and wakeful nights, he has managed to go to and stay asleep at night. It's dark. It's quiet. He's got it figured out.

Nap time, however, has been a nightmare. Over an hour to accomplish a fitful sleep state that lasts, on average 30 minutes. This is not acceptable to me.

I did have an epiphany this weekend, though. While refilling the diaper stacker, I saw the much loved but mostly unused for the past 5 months moses basket. Why was it much loved? It was snuggley and he would lie content in it for hours and often sleep.

Stop right there. Back up. Let's look at that again.

"he would lie CONTENT...and often SLEEP" in the basket.

Brilliant! I pulled it out and put it in his crib. Now at nap time, he sleeps unswaddled -- and not rolling over -- in the moses basket.

And there was much rejoicing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

cuttin' it up

just look at that smile (yes, tilt your head to the right 90 degrees and look at that smile). it's one of the last times it's going to be that adorably toothless.
it's official. tooth number one is poking its little head through those precious gums. bottom left. it's at once tragic and exciting.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

on sale now

my wrists hurt.

a few weeks ago i was struck with the brilliant idea to set up a store on etsy and sell some of the very simple yet very cute things i know how to knit. this is a fantastic idea. however, in order to have some items to sell to get things up and running, i've been knitting nonstop for what seems like an eternity.

my forearms are going to look like popeye'squite attractive, i know. it's a look i think all women are truly striving for, most are just unwilling to admit it.

well, as of last night, the store is up and running. at the moment, there are only varying colors of baby booties for sale, but i'm working on adding some other fun things. in the mean time, the booties are adorable.
check out my shop and grab a set of booties for the next baby shower you have to attend.

as for me, i'm going to go eat some spinach.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Day

we've been struggling to get out of the house lately. the little one has switched to a 2-nap schedule, and his older brothers still take one of their own. i love that the little guy sleeps for more than 45 minutes at a time, but the logistics of this schedule are making things a bit difficult to do much of anything besides sit at home.

you see, about the time the twins are done with breakfast, the baby goes down for his first nap. he sleeps until, oh, around the time the kiddos are finishing up lunch and heading upstairs for their nap. then the tiny man stays awake for a few hours before his next nap, which begins just before his brothers wake up.

all of this means that -- if i have any intention of keeping a schedule -- there are very few hours in the day when everyone is awake.

and i don't know about your children, but mine turn into some pretty nasty beasts when their schedules are disrupted -- and THAT is no fun for ANYONE.

so today, during little l's morning slumber, the rest of us got bundled up and headed out back to play in the snow. w had been begging to build a snowman for days on end.

several inches of snow in the backyard...a small snowman should not be a problem before we get too cold to enjoy ourselves, right? so here's our snowman (the boys opted to eat the eyes and nose rather than give our "man" a face).

being from the midwest, i'm used to good packing snow. you know, the stuff that's great for snowball fights, snow forts, and snowmen.

i remembered where i live when we started to build our snowman and discovered that it was next to impossible to actually form a ball with the fluff that covered our back yard.

my boys, though, had no concept of the difference between powder and packing snow and continued to insist on a snowman.

thankfully, they were quite content with a snow midget.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Truly Rad

The hubby got all nostalgic with his Christmas gifts this year & insisted that for his brother's present we find a copy of their favorite movie from when they were kids.

This is a "classic" BMX movie from the 80s starring Lori Loughlin of Full House fame. It's name? Rad.

Sounds like a winner, eh?

Well, the boys decided that they needed to watch said movie -- and that their wives should see this movie that shaped their youth.

Here's a clip for your viewing pleasure. The scene, a dance in the high school gym:

What can I say? The cinematography...the stunts...the man in a wig doing Lori Loughlin's bike riding for her...truly rad, I tell you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

my so-called life

fish sticks cooked, served and devoured.  nap time.

w needs every stuffed animal in bed with him, heads on the pillow, kissed, hugged, and tucked in.
n wants his "maff" (giraffe) and monster truck kissed, hugged, and in bed with him.
lights off, i leave the room, and a short party ensues.

the baby is changed, fed, played with, and content.

my lunch is put on the stove.

hearing that the twins' party is nearing an end, i open the door to re-tuck them into bed & give out the appropriate kisses once again.

"uh-oh, mess," n declares, grabbing his crotch. i notice that he has managed to remove his diaper inside his clothes (thank goodness it was a pajama day and the footie pjs kept the "mess" from being spread around the room).  i take him out to the other room so i can work on getting him cleaned up.

"pee. diaper," his brother states matter-of-factly, insisting that i change his diaper, too.  w gets a quick change, and then tucked back into bed. 

cue the baby.

little britches has rolled over & gotten himself stuck in a position he doesn't like. screams ensue.  thankfully, n isn't very thrilled about his predicament and is lying patiently on the floor while i soothe the screeching one.

the baby has been placated. back to the task at hand. i have no desire to describe in detail the "mess" in n's pants or the cleanup process. needless to say, it took a while. in the meantime, the baby is getting sleepy.

sleepiness & the small fry...if i catch his cues & get him down when his cheeks are rosy & his arms are flailing, we are all happy.  i have about 120 seconds to catch those cues and start to get him down before my otherwise easy baby becomes a screaming, crying nightmare.

needless to say, it's difficult to see rosy cheeks and flailing arms when up to one's elbows in you-know-what.

cue the baby. (offstage screaming)

finally...the mess is clean, the clothes have been changed, and a happy mr. n is tucked back into his bed and ready for a nap.  i rush to the baby's room, swaddle him up, give him his pacifier, and rock with him in my favorite chair until he has settled down and is practically asleep.

into the crib with that one.  take a deep breath & head downstairs.

what's that smell?

oh, had you forgotten too?

my lunch was on the stove.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

sooooo big!

4 months old = time to introduce that tasty rice cereal.  we waited a few weeks due to a nasty cold that we figured could only make the experience worse for our poor little man than it already promised to be.  as per the tradition started with his brothers, we donned the bib made especially by Great Aunt Fran, mixed up the slop, and prepared to introduce "solid" food.

the confused look on his face says it all:  what IS this stuff?
a quick swish around the mouth, and back out, caught on the spoon and shoveled back in for round 2

as i recall, the twins weren't thrilled with it their first time either.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Four Christmases

Happy New Year to us...our computer (which was already worse for the wear, having had several buttons shamelessly ripped off by some mischievous toddlers) decided to send me a message that I wasted entirely too much time looking at other people's lives on Facebook.

The screen went blank.

I could hear all the startup prompts and jingles, so I knew that the computer itself was working just fine...all the more frustrating for me not to be able to see what was happening.

We tried hooking up a different monitor, which the Geek Squad said should work just fine. such luck. I was about to melt daily dose of adult contact was gone...what is a girl in the 21st century to do? I almost had to actually pick up the phone and call some people...

And then, a miracle occurred. Suddenly, last night, we experienced the resurrection of a formerly dead computer screen. I don't know how long it will last, so I have vowed to remove the Christmas music & background from my blog, post an entry, and attempt to upload some pictures to Facebook so that the family (mom) will be satisfied.

We were happy to celebrate four different Christmases this could have been five, but that's a whole other I thought I'd share a favorite pic from each one.

Christmas #1: just me & my guys at our house
                                                W loves squishing his new Play-Doh
                                              N's favorite toy was Mama's new shoes

Christmas #2: with B's mom & brother & sis-in-law
                                                              the gang's all here
Christmas #3: at my folks' house
                                                     Santa made a special visit

Christmas #4: with all my aunts, uncles, & cousins
                                                              at the karaoke bar

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