Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You're my favorite, today

Yes, yes, I know.  You're not supposed to have a favorite but let's face it:  there are days that some or all of my tiny tots are drivin' mama crazy!  A dear friend of mine, that also has three kids, told me that she does this with her kids.  Granted, they are older and probably have less fragile egos than my little girls, but still - it's kind of fun.  The babies don't get it, of course, but Ellie does.  Anything I can do to convince her to be just a little bit less of a stinker, I'll take!

Ellie, as mentioned, can be quite challenging.  She is sweet and funny one minute and then can turn on a dime and quickly become my least favorite of the day.  Today she got up at 5:30am.  She has a clock in her room and has VERY specific instructions about when she can get up.  5:30 is not the preferred time. So I marched her back to bed and told her to go back to sleep for what should have been about another hour.  Ellie will lie in her bed and watch the minutes tick by until the clock says the magic time. 

Today was no different. Though I couldn't swear to it, I am pretty certain that she did not go back to sleep.  She actually wasn't too bad for most of the day, went to school, came home, hung out and then convinced Daddy to take us all to dinner.  Within 30 seconds of arriving, she is screaming, crying and freaking out about something teeny.  Her day has finally caught up to her.  We immediately turn around and get back into the car to head home.  More crying and screaming.  Mike is now plenty angry, the babies are confused and hungry, Mommy is angry because now I need to feed three very hungry kids, with no plan!  Ugh.  We had her in bed tonight by 6:45.  Ellie, I'm sorry to say, you were not my favorite today. 

Rachael.  The Rachinator actually woke up today in a great mood.  This is not normal for her.  She definitely takes a little time to wake up.  She requires a little patience, ok, a lot, and most of the time she works through it within 10-15 minutes.  Today she was funny and silly and full of smiles.  Rachy is a really funny kid and when she's on, she's awesome.

By mid morning, Rachael is driving me crazy.  She is feisty, she is screaming, hitting, biting and throwing things.  She will NOT sit in her high chair for lunch so I switch her to a booster seat so I can strap her in tight.  It sort of works and she did eat but continued being a stinker until it was time to take Ellie to school.  This is usually a great distraction for the babies.  Of course, she would not sit in the car seat for anything.  We stopped at a park on the way home, as we usually do, and her mood really had not changed.  Fine, we're outta here.  Time for some Tylenol and a nap (if all else fails, you know!).  After nap she was better but the damage was done.  Rachael, I'm sorry to tell you that you were not my favorite today.

Jilly.  Oh Jilly.  As I've posted before, Jilly is probably everyone's favorite in our house to some extent.  Oh don't get me wrong, she can stink up the place just as well as her sisters.  When Jilly is in stinker mode she is super clingy and also really likes to throw things.  When she is in sweet Jou Jou mode, she is just all kissy and lovey and silly and does her best to take care of her sisters and to shower everyone in house (including the cats) with lots of kisses and presents.  Jilly slept in the latest today (as is usually the case), woke up in a great mood, sat in all the appropriate places, ate everything she was supposed to eat, did only minimal throwing of things and was really a joy to be with all day - even though she did scream a little at the park!  Jilly, you win the prize.  You were my favorite today.

Of course being the favorite of the day does have it's drawbacks.  The squeaky wheel gets the oil so all of the attention today went toward Rachael and Ellie.  When this happens I really try hard to recognize it and make up for it somehow.  Jillian really loves her snuggle time so I tried really hard to give her lots of snuggles and extra time at naptime and bedtime.  Some days that is the best I can do for the one kid who didn't drive me crazy all day.
(Rachael and Ellie above, Jillian below)

I love all three of my girls so much and now I understand what it means to love each child equally, but differently .  Ellie and Rachael are passionate and bold, they are funny and they and love all animals.  Jillian is sweet and sensitive and very affectionate and she can really turn up the power when she needs it.  We've always said she is tiny but mighty.  I love each of them for all of their qualities (good and bad!) and truth be known, they're all my favorites, every day.  I cannot believe how blessed and lucky we are to have three such incredible, healthy, wonderful girls.  Hey, I've got to have some fun with my crazy, crazy days so let me pick a favorite every now and then!                            

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Going back again - The babies' first birthday!!

Ok, I simply cannot believe that I didn't blog about this at the time.  As I was going back to look at pictures for this post, I was shocked at how little they looked.  Well, here I go.

Their birthday invitation read: 

Bottles prepared:  4,500
Diapers changed:  6,120
Snuggles and laughs:  Who's counting?

Those numbers were real, or as close to real as I could get.  I went back and thought about their first year in 3 month increments and came up with averages per day and per week.  I should have put:

Months that Mommy cried:  4. 
Months that Ellie was on ignore: 6
Months before daddy got to sleep through the night: 8
Months before mommy got to sleep through the night:  10
Spit up stains on the carpet: 1 Million
Average number of meals that mommy ate per day (and still sometimes eats) 1.5

It wasn't all bad and as anyone with multiples will tell you, if you can get through that first year, you'll be ok.  It was hard through.  We depended heavily on family and friends to help us out those first few months.  My sister, with her bald head, somehow managed to find the time and energy to help me whenever she could.  My mom helped out twice a week.  My neighbors helped out daily.  I had friends, moms of friends and even friends of friends help me.  I had two different sets of friends organize meals for us.  We had meals brought to us about 2-3 times a week for probably the first 2.5-3 months.  Honestly, without those meals, we either wouldn't have eaten, or we would have lived on cereal.  There simply was not time to prepare meals, and there certainly was not time to go to the grocery store.  Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to go to the store with a 3 year old and two babies in infant seats?  Hard, and limited!  There is only so much you can get into the bottom cart of a double stroller! 

I cried  a lot that first summer.  Yes, I was very hormonal.  But also I was just so tired and so was Mike.  We couldn't even give each other a break because it was so hard to feed them both that we both got up, every night, every 3 hours. The babies both had pretty bad reflux so we had to feed them a very small amount at time, burp them, feed them, burp them, feed them and then keep them upright for 30-45 minutes afterward.  The whole process took about an hour, not including preparing bottles, changing them and usually changing someone's clothes because it was covered in spit up.  It was a nightmare.  Ellie gets up very early and I can't tell you how many times we got up at 4:30 or 5:00 to feed and then had to go directly to dealing with Ellie because she was awake by 6:00.

 I had enormous guilt about Ellie.  She went from being the center of our universe to falling off the back burner and behind the stove in one fell swoop.  That poor kid.  She would literally spend every day from about 6:30am until about 1:00 or 2:00pm completely on her own -  and then I'd try to put her down for a nap.  Oh, I was there but I flat out didn't have time for her.  She got way more screen time than any three year old should ever have.  People tired so hard to help out by taking her somewhere or inviting her over for a playdate, but as it turned out, that was the last thing she wanted.  She missed Daddy and I so much she just wanted to be with us, even if it meant just being in the same room with me as I fed the babies and she watched TV or played on the computer.  It was heart breaking.  She and I often sat with each other feeding babies (yes, she helped!) and cried while we were doing it.  Nice bonding time.  Ugh.

I had big guilt about my inability to nurse the babies as well.  This one really killed me.  I happily nursed Ellie for 8 months and of course she was never sick, never had ear infections, etc.  I realized very quickly, I mean VERY quickly (as in just hours after the babies were born) that nursing two babies at once was near impossible for me.  I know people do it and good for them but I couldn't do it.  They were so little and their milk source was, well, so big, they just couldn't do it either.  My milk supply was uneven so someone was always missing out.  Plus, they would fall asleep!  Usually such a sweet thing but they were so little and NEEDED to eat a certain amount every couple of hours so they would even let us bring them home.  I resorted to pumping well before I even left the hospital but even that was just a supplement to the formula that the doctors insisted they have (I didn't fight that - they needed to eat).  I pumped for 9 weeks and finally gave up as it got to the point that I didn't even have time to do that.  More crying.  Of course, just to dig it in, they were sick from the day Ellie started preschool to about their first birthday, complete with constant ear infections.  Poor babies!

My sister was going though chemotherapy that summer and I couldn't ever help her, yet she somehow managed to help me.  More guilt, more crying.  Told you I cried a lot that first summer!

All of that being said, we made it.  I had them on a regular two nap schedule, a 7:00pm bedtime and a once a night wake up call by the time they were about 6 months old.  Ellie was settling into her first year of preschool and she no longer thought I was just trying to get rid of her.  Mike and I started to get more sleep - life was getting better. 

By 8 months Rachael started sleeping through the night and Jillian was growing out of her reflux.  We separated them at night by this point thinking we'd reunite them after they both started sleeping through the night.  Never happened.  We are just now painting our guest room and converting it to Rachael's permanent room - despite the fact that she has been sleeping there now for almost a year!

By 10 months Jillian was sleeping through the night and Rachael was growing out of her reflux.  I think we finally had our carpets cleaned  right around 12 months - since we were finally past the major stain assault that baby spit brings!

By 12 months neither of them was walking but boy were they cute!!  We only ("only") have twins but to this day, we attract attention when we go out.  I've become used to it and have learned just how many other people have multiples!

We kind of had two parties for them.  One celebration with the neighbors and one with close friends and family.  Rachael did well the first time, Jillian did well the second time.  Mommy and daddy did well both times - although I couldn't help but choke up as I thanked everyone for their help over the last year!
Not a day goes by that Mike and I don't marvel over the fact that we have twins, and three girls.  I mean every day we just look at each other and say "I can't believe we have two babies!  I can't believe we have three girls!!".  We now can't imagine having just one baby.  I look back at when I did have just one baby and I laugh at myself because I thought it was so hard at the time!  HA!  I am the mom of twins.  I survived that first year.  It has helped me through other things - knowing that I've got way more strength than I ever think I do.  As the mom of multiples, you get very creative in how you do things.  I can't tell you how many different ways I came up with to feed them on my own  - some more successful than others!  Well....enjoy the pictures!

Jillian wearing a "hat"



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Going back - Relay for Life May 2009

I said I'd try to go  back and do some updates so here is a quick one.  Every year my girlfriend Mindy does the Relay For Life walk for cancer.  She lost both her mother and her brother to cancer.  Can you imagine?  I really can't.  She is highly dedicated to the cause and spends months and months fundraising and training for her 24 hour walk.  She's a super-mom, as seen here!

This year (ok, last, but you get it) she asked my sister if she would like to participate in the Survivor's Walk - the first lap around the track.  Of course she did and the timing was good as the event corresponded with Tracy's one year anniversary of being cancer free!  My sister is an inspiration to me and many others.  Ellie and I went to support her and Mindy and had a great time in the process.  We laughed, and cried and celebrated the fact that we were there in honor of her, instead in memory of her.  Ellie loves her auntie so, so much, and so do I.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, it is the beginning of a new year so what better time to revive my blog!  Oh, so much has happened in the last six months since I've posted.  I don't have any of the kids' birthdays on here, any of the fun summer stuff we did, the 3-Day walk that I did in September, Ellie's first day of school, soccer, her Thanksgiving program, her Christmas program or anything having to do with Christmas!  I'll try to fill some of these things in as I go.

Christmas break is finally over I think just about everyone in the house is happy for that.  Ellie went back to school on today, Mike went back to work, Mommy will get everyone out of her hair for at least a tiny bit, three days a week!

Some updates for you:

Ellie, as mentioned, is now in the middle of her second year of preschool.  I switched schools on her this year for various reasons and of course, the grass is rarely greener.  She likes it and though it solved a few of my issues with her previous school, I now have issues with this school that I didn't have at the last one.  I can't win.  The babies will go to a completley different school and by the time I'm done with them I'm sure we will have tried out every school in our community!  She is trying really hard to read, has discovered "real" music instead of all toddler music and loves books, art and singing.  The girl can fly on her scooter and she learned to ride a two wheeled bike last summer!  She is very coordinated on two wheels, but falls walking across the kitchen floor!

Ellie is super smart, very funny and a really, really good big sister.  She loves her "bunkies" with all of her heart and has really enjoyed having playmates around the house instead of the eating/pooping/sleeping blobs that they were last year.  With Ellie's super smartness comes the will of 10,000 men.  I often joke that she is really 4 going on 14 because she can be quite sassy at times.  She tests my patience most every day and really tests Daddy's!  However, in the last month or so we've started to see glimpses of "human" Ellie.  She'll go days and days without making me cranky and oh, how wonderful those days are!  Of course, in public she is unbelievably charming.  I have really grown to love taking her in public because I get to see her through other people's eyes and this reminds me just how incredible she is.

Rachael.  Oh lord, this kid.  Rachael is also very funny, very smart and is actually MORE dramatic than Ellie - something we thought was not possible!  She is very much Ellie's sister and she is a bundle of fun.  She is still into EVERYTHING, she's pretty destructive and she loves a good mess.   She has a lion that she loves and she when she is looking for him, it comes out "Line".  It is so cute.  She loves that lion and sleeps with him and not one, but two snuggly blankets.

She also loves her baby sister with all of her heart and will immediately come running if "Jou-Jou" is in any sort of peril.  She will bring Jillian her blanket or an animal or whatever she can find that she thinks will make Jillian happy, chanting " Jou-Jou, Jou-Jou, Jou-Jou" the whole time until Jou-Jou takes whatever is being offered.  If there are crackers being offered, Rachael will always take two and take one to Jillian before she eats her own.  Same with bottles, cold teether-things, lovey's, whatever.  For some reason, Jillian always comes first.  Rachael is very sweet, yet crazy!

Jillian, aka, Jou-Jou.  I don't know why, but we have a ton of nick-names for Jillian.  Jilly, Jou-Jou, J-J, June-bug, Jilli-bean, Baby J- the list goes on.  Ellie has come up with most of them because like Rachael, Jillian has a special place in Ellie's heart.  I don't know what it is about our little Jou-Jou - maybe it's just that, that she's little.  She is a tiny little thing and so sweet.  She is a major snuggler and does this "wiggle-buns" thing on you when she is in major snuggle-mode.  She has done it since she was a tiny, tiny baby and has never stopped.  It is awesome when she snuggles with you and she always leaves you wanting just a little more.

Jilly is more into details than Rachael is - she is more like Ellie was when she was this age.  She will sit and play with the smallest of Ellie's toys for the longest time.  She will find the smallest thread coming out of a blanket and play with it forever.  She is also very smart (do you see a pattern?) and you can really see her little wheels just turning constantly.  She will also come to Rachael's rescue, though not quite as urgently as Rachael comes to her.  Ellie is Jillian's hero and she will immediately come to Ellie's aid whenever she is in peril.  They have a special bond as I guess I should have realized would happen with one of the twins over the other.  Our little Jou-Jou LOVES running around with her sisters (she's always last), loves jumping on the bed, the couch, or the chairs!  She is the only of the three kids who has ever climbed up onto the kitchen island, the kitchen table, up and over the back of the couch.  She is the only one who has ever fallen out of her crib.  So, she is a climber and very good at it.

Mommy - well, I'm the mama.  I wish I had exciting news to share about me but I really don't.  I have a few things brewing in my mind but we'll see how they go before I spout off about them!

Daddy - Daddy is busy bringing home the bacon and trying his best to be the house decorator, the financial guy, the dad, the husband and the friend that we all expect from him.  I love him with all my heart and am so thankful to have this crazy life with him.

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time flies

Has it really been 6 months since I've posted here? I guess so. I have the best of intentions and I "blog" in my head all the time. I always think about whatever it is that is happening with our family and whatever my thoughts are on it, and then I remember that my laptop is a dog and it would likely take me an hour to post two paragraphs, two if I added pictures. So I put it off another day, another week, another month. I've become a bit of a Facebook junkie so I do post there several times a week, along with pictures, but....the grandparents (wisely) don't do FB and that is really who should be seeing the pictures.

I don't do resolutions (because well, frankly, I never do them), but I am going to try to keep this up again. Sorry!

Happy New Year!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yet another birthday...Grandpa Bob!

Sorry, I didn't forget this one, I just forgot to mention it in the last entry! Last year we gave Grandpa Bob (Mike's dad) the best gift we could think of...twins! Our babies were born on Grandpa Bob's birthday and he was thrilled! This year we were able to celebrate his birthday with him in person - I slaved all day on this exquistite birthday dessert for him (ok, Mike may have got cupcakes at the grocery store!)

The picture below shows the first time the babies met Grandpa and his wife, Grandma Minta. They live about 4 hours from us and they managed to come over to see us just days after the babies were born. I couldn't even begin to tell you which baby is which here - they were baby burritos much of the time!

Once again, Grandma and Grandpa made the trek this year. What a difference a year makes!! (Rachael is on the left, Jilly on the right. There's not really that big of a height difference between them - I think Jilly was just bouncing up and down at the time!)

Grandpa is always good at giving Ellie a hard time - she's just as good at giving it back (and check out that new sassy doo of hers!).

One thing I really have to hand to Bob is the fact that he ALWAYS gets down on the floor and plays with our kids. He has a bad back, has had hip replacements and is currently fighting a little bout of prostate cancer and even on this trip, he was down on the ground with the kids (of course I don't have a picture of that, but you'll just have to take my word for it!). It kills my knees to do it and I'm a tad younger than he is. Thank you Grandpa Bob for going that extra mile. We love and miss you and wish you and look forward to seeing you again soon!

Happy Birthday(s)!!!

So getting back to our crazy busy month. May and June are busy months in our family, well ok and March too. May and June mark the birthdays of both of my nieces, all three of my kids as well as my mom. My mom, AKA Grandma, Gramcracker, or now Grammy as Ellie calls her, turned 65 this May. This is unbelievable to me. Grandma looks fantastic, is very hip and is somehow able to keep up with all of her grandchildren and their likes/dislikes, shows, concerts, swimming lessons, etc. PLUS, she showed up at our house the day of her party wearing a black "skort" and this very fun zebra print shirt. I hope I can wear short skirts when I'm 65!! Mom, you look great and I love you very, very much.

A LOT, and I do mean A LOT, of people helped me those first few months after the babies were born. After I cried on the phone and begged my mom for some regular help, she was here two days a week for about about 3 months-ish. I never got anything more accomplished, only occasionally actually left the house, but just having those extra hands during my day to day was SO helpful!! Poor Ellie, she was not even on the back burner - she had fallen behind the whole stove! Grammy somehow always managed to feed a baby and still play with Ellie while I trudged around the house with the other baby, literally barely able to keep my eyes open. On several occasions my mom and my sister would come over from about 7:00pm to 11:00pm so Mike and I could get a few hours of sleep before the l-o-n-g night ahead. I am eternally grateful for every bit of help that we received, but my mom and my sister really got us through it. Thank you. More on this later - I'm just so far behind on my blogging!

Somewhere in between our Disneyland trip and my mom's birthday party, my oldest niece turned 12. How does this happen? When Mike and I met, Cailey was about 10 months old and now she is all cute and hip and grown up and athletic and smart and funny and dare I say...responsible?! Unfortunately, I missed her birthday party and the cute shirt we brought back from Disneyland for her was too small. I feel like I owe her a re-do on her birthday wishes so in the words of the talent agent in "Bolt" (one of Ellie's current favorite flicks), "let's put a pin in it". But we'll do it for real. Cailey - I love you and will come up with something fun to commemorate your 12th birthday!

I think Ellie took this picture. As big and tall as my nieces are, I don't think they're looking down at me quite yet! That is another entry that I should do sometime. Ellie gets a hold of my camera and I never know what she has been up to until I dump them onto my computer. Excellent job, Ellieo!

Did I mention that twins run in our family? Ha - actually they do not but check out this pic of my mom and her sister. Again, I hope I am as hot as these two when I'm a grandma! Whoo!

Ellie and her Grammy...

Our Family

Our Family
Fall 2008