Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Know Thyself

I DO know myself, and I know that I do not want 5 or 7 kids. So why is it, then, after meeting two wonderfully sweet mothers, of 5 and 7 children, do I feel like half the mothers they are? Is it because mom of 7 brought them all to the same park I was at this morning, cradling her 2.5 week old baby and rocking her 120 lb body.....and her TWO sets of twins? Is it because  mom of 5 just so happens to be the woman who BUILT the house I'm living in and totally in love with?  Is it because people who know I'm a Christian and a licensed teacher automatically assume I will home school my children (this just happened last week....a kind stranger warned me of the danger of the world, meaning public school).

I'm all for large families and home-schooling. In fact I'm kind of lost since "19Kids and Counting" isn't on TLC this summer. I wish I were more like Michelle Duggar, minus about 16 kids.

But I know myself. I know that I would not be a good mom to 7 kids. At all. Thinking about making 6 meals, breast feeding the baby, then feeding myself and my husband, not once but three times day, not to mention trying to spend time with each kids and maintain a relationship with Hubs....It's not my cup of tea.

There are days I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water with my three little ones. I comfort myself with images of t-ball, soccer, and kindergarten . Public school kindergarten. We have such a great school system here that I look forward to the day I can work in it, even a little.

I am privileged to stay home with my boys now. Hats off to you mamas who are working outside the home, or did, during theses early years. I likewise couldn't imagine myself doing that, either. So don't go thinking I'm all dying to get back to work, either.

I know myself.  Sometimes I just have to remind myself that who I am is okay. Thank the Lord He did not choose me to have 7, or homeschool, or work through the early years. He knows me better than I know myself. And I'm a pretty good mom, all things considered.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mystery Solved, Maybe

It appears my little N is lactose intolerant. I was supposed to go diary-free but misunderstood my sister in law's doctor-fiancee's instructions and instead gave him lactose-free milk. Doing such an experiment is less than ideal while traveling, but it was worth it because about day 9, he had his first normal bowel movement in perhaps months. Hooray! Also, his behavior has improved, an unexpected and welcome change. He's more cooperative, less irritable and all around more pleasant. Dr. K. Explained that a lactose intolerant person, if he's drinking milk all day like N was, will feel crampy, bloated, and gassy. While N never complained - and how could he know it should feel different if it always hurt.- he did always have a bulging belly. I just thought he had a round tummy. Now it's as flat as a board.

So now I'm researching lactose intolerance. Everything I read says he shouldn't have it due to his age (3years, 2 months) and ethnicity. The only hint of a possible cause I can find in my still-limited research is that sometimes premies have it. He was technically a preemie at 35 weeks, 3 days and was the smaller one at 5lbs 5oz, but I've been told all those numbers are good for twins.

I found Lactaid ice cream and Yoplait's lactose free yogurt at my grocery store yesterday and he gobbled them up. They taste normal to me, so I suppose if He has to have something, this we can live with. I'm still hesitant to call his pediatrician because Dr. K. Says that he'll tell me to do what I'm already doing and that any test he orders will make N feel miserable (not to mention expensive).

During the experiment I put N back in diapers and we are giving potty training a break, for the most part. I'm waiting to see if the bowel movements continue to be normal and if they will become more regular, which I hope will make potty training go more smoothly in the future. I also expect that dropping M off at the Thursday morning "On My Own" class and taking him back home becaus ehe's not potty training will just the right incentive (because I haven't found it yet).

In other potty news, M wears underpants all day long. He had a couple accidents on the trip, but we are back home now and getting back into the swing of things so I think he's done, until I decide to tackle bedtime, which, at this point, may be never!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Play Ball!

Last night my mom organized a huge family fun outing to end our Michigan vacation, a night at the Great Lakes Loons game. It's a new (since we moved 8 years ago) minor league team in Midland and we hadn't seen them play yet. We left all three boys at my in-law's (thank you for the free babysitting!) and had a mini-date together for dinner and headed to the ballpark where both my sisters, four of my nieces and nephews, three of my grandparents and my parents waited. What a blast! Despite a low scoring game, it was a perfect cool breezy Michigan summer evening, the kind hubs and I spent together the summer we fell in love. Just a couple hours away from the kids and we felt a bit like our old selves again, even stopping at 7-11 for a Slurpee like the good ol days. Apparently, a Loons game is the place to be because we ran into so many people we knew it was like a blast from the past; even one of hubs' high school friends recognized us! The best part was spending time with our family. Here's my favorite pic of the night- me with three of my grandparents. That's my maternal grandfather, after whom M was named. A truly wonderful man. I just kissed him good-bye. I know I won't get to do it forever so I do it every time I can. Thanks for a good time, Mom!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Change of Heart

What I was going to write - a thesis on living in poop purgatory thanks to my three very poopy sons - I'm not. Because so many of my friends would give their right arm to have what I have: three healthy (pooping) sons. The period of infertility I experienced pales in comparison to the heartache of multiple miscarriages; so many of my friends I cannot count. I learned of yet another one today. For my friends I pray that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6)

Sunday, July 22, 2012


The kids and I were delivering Hubs to TVC "on the way 'home'" from vacation. We couldn't check in to the hotel so we stopped at a park in Traverse City to let the boys run off some steam and so I could feed C. They walked the pier, made friends with two couples eating lunch nearby, fed the ducks their peanuts, played in the sand, rolled in the sand, dug in the sand, spun on an old school merry go round ("this is dizzy") then finally headed to the water with our new friends. M just put his toes in. N sat down in it, fully clothed. We had to make a break for it, but not before stripping N nude and literally hosing them down! Then he sat his wet bum down in the sandy pine needles and we started over, trying to get him clean enough to ride in the car. Still they were filthy, so we had to improvise with a coffee mug to bathe them in the hotel bathroom. Life with three little boys is nothing short of an adventure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Take off!

Soon, anyhow. We are waiting for a rain storm to pass on the Tarmac, so N and I took some photos to pass the time. Here's what flying looks like for us. And the last two of N are his self-portraits;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Hypothesis on Mr. Poopsies

Mr. Poopsies might not be doing this on purpose.  Maybe just maybe he's got a milk sensitivity or is lactose intolerant or whatever you want to call it, so I'm going dairy-free with him for a week or two to see if this changes his stool habits.  (A "blue moon" ice cream on Sunday gave me a BIG surprise on Monday morning, triggering this hypothesis.  Sorry for the poop talk, but this is my life right now).  And if the stool becomes normal, like regular-person-normal, not what-I-thought-was-just-my-kid's-weird-body-normal, then MAYBE he'll be able to "feel" the urge to go number two and make it to the bathroom in time.  It's just a hypothesis.  Not sure if it will work, but this is the first step to finding out if it's something I've been feeding him his whole life: milk.  He loves yogurt, ice cream and milk milk milk, so I'm not looking forward to this, but I think it's worth a shot.  And don't you think this is a fantastic time to start, two days before we leave for a family vacation in MI?  I know, not really, but if my hypothesis is correct, then he might come home a changed man.  Doubly so if his older boy cousins can convince him to "go" standing up (Daddy's tried, believe me).  Maybe he'll listen to a kid.  Isn't that what kids do, ignore mom and dad and do what their older cousins do?  

I'm feeling a bit more sane and patient with him, keeping in mind that there might be a physical reason he can't go, as opposed to, he's trying to kill me with his stubbornness.  

Sweet Mr. Poopsies
Back to packing for 5 people and figuring out who is going to water my flowers and mow my lawn because the neighbor kids' mom just said no.  (Sigh) I'll keep you updated with the iphone and flood you with pictures when we get back - and I have time to upload. 

You stay classy, San Diego.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Super Why Oh Why

I'm not sure what to call this post and I have only 10 minutes until Super Why is over to write it, but I just have to say that this parenting twin 3 year olds and a newborn business is tough to put it lightly.  One poops in his pants, one won't go to sleep and stay in his bed, and one is a perfect angel.  Can you guess which is which?  If you've been reading at all, you know who is who.  My poor hubs was kind and caring as I had a breakdown last night - all I want is for my kids to eat, and sleep,and poop...LIKE CIVILIZED HUMANS.  Is that too much to ask?  yes, dear, it is.

Then today one of them was taking himself to the bathroom at 4am.  He even turned the light on.  All I did was check on him because I heard some racket and saw the light in the hall.  He put himself back to bed and when he woke up in the morning, his pull up was dry.

Then Mr. Poopsies who is drives me to tears almost daily with his multiple poops a day in his pull up, swimsuit, diaper, whatever just so happens to be on his bottom and his absolute refusal to go number two on the potty- woke up with a dry pull up and then went to the bathroom COOPERATIVELY. Number one, I should add, but still, it's a miracle.

Of course, C woke up all smiles and feed me Seymore after 10.5 hours of sleeping through the night. Thank you God for an angelic baby. 

I only wrote you the good stuff.  A lot of other insanity happened and if you're an MVMOM you can read it on Big Tent - needing some twin mommy advice with the bedtime crazies. 

I don't normally send you links, but you've got to read this hilarious article.  Hilarious because it's not my kid, but almost.


Super Why is over now so I have to stop.  I guess the dry pull ups this morning was a gift from God reminding me that one day this insanity will end. Super Why Oh Why with the poop and bedtime insanity?!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What's Your Favorite Part of the Day?

M just asked N. I jumped up to snap this shot. They are eating Hi-C/OJ Popsicles together in their "house," discussing today's events and watching Daddy mow. The question is what Daddy asks them at bedtime when he tucks them in, so it's sweet and special that they are using it to converse together. Of course, before I finished typing, the moment ended and N dumped over Hubs' grass clippings container all over the lawn and got yelled at. I guess that was N's answer!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2 Month Well Child

Poor little guy sleeping it off with his big boy band aids on

A real nursery, finally!

My hunky chunk tipped the scales on Monday morning at his appointment with a whopping 15 lbs, 10z!  He's in the 97% for weight, 95% for head circumference, and 87% for length which was 23.25".  I think it's all the ice cream and frozen yogurt I'm eating and putting into his breast milk. Mr. C. also impressed me on Sunday and Monday nights by sleeping 10 hours!  He'd been sleeping 7-8 hours since July 4 (which I was happy with) when we put him in his own room, but I certainly wasn't expecting 10.  He snapped me back into reality this morning, not once, but twice - at 1am and 5 am, so I guess it was a fluke.  Ah, well.  At least I have a taste of what life - okay, sleep- will be like again soon. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Liz's Awesome Photos

I've got this amazing twin mom friend, Liz, whose name I'm using because I'm showing you some awesome photos she took of our boys back in May.  (The delay in sharing them is my responsibility alone.  SHE is professional and on-time, much UNlike my blogging!)  You can see Liz' work at http://lizsiebenalerphotography.com/. It's beautiful!

I'm also going to brag on ANOTHER twin mom friend, Erin, whose handiwork is modeled by my little Mr. C. in the last photo.  Her small business is called Marigold Baby, and you can see HER work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MarigoldBaby. Also? Beautiful!

I've got some VERY talented friends, no? 

In no particular order, here are the best of the bunch.  Thank you, Liz and Erin, for making my kids look so fantastic!  Now I have to go feed Mr. Hungry, who got his two month immunizations today, but now you'll have to wait for those (not as awesome) snapshots.  Enjoy!!

Catch Up!

Whoo-wee!  Do I have a lot of blogging to catch up on or what?  Having a third child just does not lend itself well to large chunks of free time for uploading photos and blogging.  That's why you've been getting lame-o iphone posts with poor grammar and punctuation and lousy photos.  But something for the clamoring public is better than nothing, I figure.

I know, I know, you're not exactly clamoring.  But you probably would like some decent - or halfway decent - photos.  So here are a few shots taken two weeks ago (sheesh!) at Delta's annual family picnic day (or whatever they called it).  It was quite a spectacle, complete with multiple food vendors, a beer truck - which we skipped of course but is worth mentioning because it was a beer semi with TAPS on the outside of the truck!  I thought it was pretty neat, despite totally NOT being into beer.  Anyhow, we spent most of our time at the kiddie playland which had a dozen or more blow up thingys to climb and bounce on.  But first we toured the airport snowplow on display, which I also thought was pretty stinking cool!  So did Daddy and N, but not so much M....

Up, up...

and away!

Can you see them both in there?

I do not like this, Dad-I-Am. 

But I do!!
Here is where we begin the fun bouncy house type things.  It wasn't until we were leaving I saw the back end of the first one, a dragon, where the kids slide out of a hole right beneath his tail.  Yeah, you read that right.
You're gonna be dragon poop, kids.  Don't be afraid.

They liked climbing this one, despite appearances.

This is worth including because it's proof they can wait in line.

I'm not even sure what this was, but N loved it.


M IS having fun being trapped in a giant netted bounce house with strange large kids, I swear he is.

Kemps' itty bitz ice cream was a blast from the past, when we could only get Dippin Dotz at Cedar Point. 

Stand by the tire! Turn around! Smile! 

because this will be a cool picture, doggone it.
It was a family fun day on the airport grounds, and I'm sure they will be looking for the bounce houses when we fly out again in a couple of weeks, next time we head up to the airport.

Stay tuned for some very recent snapshots and some excellent portraits.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Potty training update

I'm a master chart maker. Not really, but I've heard sticker charts work so I made two. The green one for N has two goals: make pee pee on the toilet ring and make poo on the toilet ring. I knew he could do the first, so he'd earn stickers for it, but old habits die hard and he still goes "standing down" if I don't strongly encourage otherwise. That means straddling the commode backward and naked, which was a great trick to get him to go on it at all 6 months ago, but I'm sick of stripping nude, especially in public, and especially for false alarms. After two days, he's earned 6 stickers so we are making progress toward the ice cream he chose as his reward. The second goal? Not even the iPad games reward he chose can convince him it's worth it to make number 2 on the loo. But at least he'sitting on the potty facing forward so maybe that will help? M was copying N's "standing down" behavior which really made me batty, so his first goal is to go standing up, which he can do and N totally refuses to do which explains the goals. He's doing well and has also earned 6 stickers toward ice cream. His second goal is to keep underpants dry all day, which he was already doing. I'm trying to reinforce good behavior. He probably doesn't need sticker rewards as much because he's intrinsically motivated to do these things but I'm hoping that his enthusiasm (he really loves the stickers) will rub off on N.We are 6 solid months into potty training. I think I can safely say that M is trained. Not nighttime of course. I'm not going to go there for a long time. I'd say N is 40% trained. He will pee if I take him in there and is more cooperative about it, but if I am busy or forget, he just goes in the pull up. And he's in a pull up becaus of the poo issue, which now is random and often multiple times a day, not to mention quite...manly? Let's stop there. I also ditched the little potties, they've been cluttering my bathrooms and I detest cleaning the man-poo out of them. The boys hardly blinked when I told them they were gone because they are three years old now. You just never know what's going to be acceptable (removing the potties) or unacceptable (putting the wrong color lid on a sippy cup). Two days into my second attempt at sticker charts and it's going ok. I didnt tell you about the first because it was not very successful. If you don't hear anything, just say a prayer because it probably means we have stalled out again. It took a long time to recover from the regression caused by baby brother's arrival.Speaking of, he's rivaling the brothers for nasty poos! This morning's blowout was the end of a certain sleeper, and I'm moving him up to size 3 as soon as this box of 2's is used up. Tomorrow is his two month appointment where he gets his shots:( poor buddy.

Our Life in Eggs

Twins and a singleton. Meant to be.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

Nothing says independence like moving a baby out of your room! On his 8 week birthday C got his nursery. It was more than just taking down the pack and play, though. It involved moving a lot of furniture and clothes, much cleaning, and two trips to Target for the highly anticipated new alarm clock. M has been Occupying Nursery Street for 6 months in an attempt to get the boys to sleep. It mostly worked but created the nursery issue. So C was with us for exactly 8 weeks. Which was 7 weeks, 6 days longer than we shared a room with the twins! Several things convinced us it was the right time to tackle the move:
1. C grunts. Like a little piglet. All night.
2. He is over the max weight limit of 15 lbs for the bassinet. And I'm breaking my back lifting him in and put of that!
3. M has asked several times to move back in with N.
4. Hubs had the 4th off to move heavy stuff.
5. It was literally 100 degrees outside so we had to keep the kids inside anyhow.
6. He's sleeping about 6 hours now so I only nurse him once around 3 or 4 am.
How did the first night go? In a word, FANTASTIC! C now has a safe place where his brothers can't (quite) reach him, I have a cozy nursing space (imagine actually nursing your baby in his nursery...brilliant!) and I can turn the monitor down low enough to hear no grunting. Ahhhh....

Not to mention the three bedrooms are CLEAN due to all the moving about.its a wonderful feeling. Short lived, I know, but Everyone functions better in a clean house. Most importantly, me.

The two boys sharing a room again? Ask me next week. Hopefully I'll have a glowing report for you then.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Super Shoppers

Sam's Club day, then and now.