Thursday, January 31, 2013

Amazing Race Leg 1

Today was Leg 1: Aunt L, the kids and I fly to MI.

After a busy morning of frozen waffles on paper plates, stripping beds and taping a few more boxes, my friend A arrived to taxi us to MSP. We said good-bye to our house, prayed together, and took a moving out picture on the front porch just like the day we moved in.

When we backed out at 10:15, the replacement moving truck was to arrive at noon. Wait, did you just say replacement truck? Yeah, I did. Our first one had non-functioning running lights that the mechanic couldn't fix:(

Thank The Lord for good friends and good aunties who made the rest of the day run smoothly! Like a well-oiled machine, we unloaded cars seats and suitcases, checked baggage and whisked through security, despite forgetting C's stroller! At least we remembered the baby!

Another small victory? I didn't pack straw cups for the kids' airplane snacks: we had to use the regular plastic cups AND NO ONE SPILLED. Also, both boys stayed dry all day. Have you ever taken a 3 year old boy to the bathroom on a CRJ? Quite an accomplishment, let me tell you! And I got to do it not once but twice! Which reminds me I also got to nurse one more time on the airport bathroom floor, in part because we also forgot to pack C solid food! He didn't seem to mind eating a half canister of baby puffs and little bites if our Chic-Fil-A sandwich buns for lunch.

After all those shenanigans, iPad games, and some DVD watching, we finally landed to see a special surprise: wonderful Great Grandpa P picking us up in our beloved, spacious, and still filthy from our Christmas drive minivan!

Now C is sleeping, the boys are playing in my mom's basement, and We are waiting to hear what the truck company is going to do since truck number two was frozen up. Major truck problems in MN, but trying to stay positive. What was a slight mechanical delay is now putting us behind almost a whole day. I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cherry Berry And Fun!

Aunt L is here to help us have fun while we pack to move to Michigan. We took one last trip to the MN Zoo, introduced C to frozen yogurt at Cherry Berry, ran a million errands donating items to friends and non-profit organizations in town, made one last trip to some of our favorite places like Choo Choo Bobs and the library, and of course, packing! Whew, we are exhausted but it's only Tuesday and the truck isn't even here yet! I know the kids will have plenty of energy, but the rest of us will have to rely on coffee and Coke Zero! Here are a few shots from our adventures:

Okay, the last two were taken by N at the restaurant tonight. He keeps doing that...maybe with time hell become a photographer.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


So our new plan is to make N The Boss of his pee pee and poopies. As long as he doesn't have to go number 2, it works great. But every other day it's....not so great.

How long do I give this method? And if I quit, what then?

We are supposed to act like we don't care, too, which is pretty difficult. And even rewards of his choosing are not incentive enough- even special outings.

He's missing a special outing with Daddy, M, and Aunt L right now because he did it again. We are trying to get across that kids who mess their pants can't do fun outings, but after he cries while they're getting ready to go, he's over it and totally ok with being here!

(Sigh) I guess the silver lining is that he's stating dry on his own pretty well in the morning, enough that I think it will be ok to send him to preschool and the accidents will happen at home in the afternoon/evening.

Friday, January 25, 2013


1. For teeth. C cut 2 bottom teeth in October at five months, but we are still waiting for the next batch at 8.5 months. Meanwhile, he's sporting the drool bib look. And you can kind of see how his hair got cut! Looking so big!

2. For the next prospective tenants. Yesterday was a debacle, I parked the kids with PBS and cleaned like crazy this morning and took them to open gym at the gymnastics center to get them outta here, only for them to no show.

3. For Aunt L. She's flying in tomorrow to help us move back to MI! Maybe tomorrow I can start packing...

4. For the poop to hit the potty. Today is day 3 of N's The Boss. I will not declare victory until he starts Kindergarden at this point, but he's keeping himself dry from about 7am to 5pm. All bets are off after 5, though. Trying to make him clean up his own mess as much (and as uncomfortably) as possible. He does not like it, so I think the message is getting through. Painfully slow for me, but 3 weeks ago he was not in unders at all, so progress is progress!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Humbling Experience

Imagine every room in your house looked like this-or worse.
Because you have twin 3 year olds and an 8 month old.
Because you are packing to move in 7 days.
Imagine you have to show the house to potential renters in 24 hours.
Would you panic?
Imagine tomorrow's showing rang the doorbell right now.
Panicking yet?

I didn't have time to panic. I said, sure, come on in, keep in mind I have three small children, I'm packing to move in 7 days, and I was expecting you tomorrow.

She said ok. WHAT?!

Most embarrassing, humbling moment of my life. I let a complete stranger see everything including my unmade bed and pump parts strewn about, the stinky potty training bathroom, the laundry in the washing machine...everything. It's so messy I told my mon I wouldn't even let HER see it (mostly for comedic effect, you should know, but it would still be embarrassing if she saw it)!

But you know what? She was not only a fellow multiples' mom, she was a triplet plus one mom of four sons, the kind of mom I revere wholeheartedly. So she understood.

Not to mention, she seems to have survived raising them with grace and dignity, giving me much hope for my future.

I really hope her family is chosen to love our house next.

Now, do I bother cleaning for the other showing tomorrow?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Plan

It's to make N in charge of his own potty needs. It means no reminders, no potty breaks determined by mommy, and N cleans himself up. We had a talk last night about it; we turned all responsibility over to him. He didn't seem to care.

This morning we reminded him out of habit, then handed him his unders to put on because he pulled his soaked diaper back up. That was about two hours ago.

It's killing me to not take him to the bathroom, but he seems happy to be not bothered by me. That is, of course, what the expert in the article I read suggesting this method, says is the problem; he's rebelling.

We figure its worth a shot; he's staying mostly dry and taking himself pee pee sometimes. So the danger is only that he might mess his pants, which is what he's been doing anyhow with a hundred reminders and potty breaks. We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain at this point.

I suppose I'm helicopter parenting this morning. I set the two boys up on blankets to play (and its been working for almost 30 minutes!) while I finish crocheting a gift....and stare at N, willing him to take himself potty. M is thrilled that he has the privilege of running errands with Daddy this morning, something we've been allowing so N gets the idea that boys who poop in the potty get to do fun outings (like preschool!), but he seems happy as a lark playing with his Trios WITHOUT M.

So he may have found a loophole....

Oh, and I tried bribing him to sit on the potty with playing games on my iPhone yesterday. He took about 50 pictures if himself sitting there, and are all variations of this one. Funny kid, he is!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


We are moving back to Michigan!

There, I said it!  It's been in the works for months, but only became official the Friday before Christmas, and since then it's been a whirlwind of holidays, house hunting, traveling, potty training, packing and purging.

Only Hubs and I would move to Minnesota in January (2004) and then 9 years later decide that moving across 4 states should again be done during the coldest month of the year!  This time, we are doing it with twin 3 year olds, an 8 month old, and a whole lot more stuff.

Saying goodbye to our wonderful friends here has not been easy.  Some of them have been with us since the very beginning of our time here, which was quite near the very beginning of our marriage!  They will be terribly missed.  However, as I was packing a box this morning containing our VHS player and assorted tapes - including our wedding, which is why we keep it (and somewhere I know I have negatives(!) of our photos) - I thought about how much technology has advanced and how it will help us keep in touch. I mean, we had to call our parents on a LANDLINE when we moved out here!  Who does that?  Now we have laptops, a blog, skype, iphones with Facetime technology....not to mention flight benefits!

Hubs' job will not change - he will just fly out of DTW, which was not an option for us prior to a month ago.  This move will allow us to be within a 10 minutes drive or less from the following people, which will be so wonderful just for wonderful-ness sake and we love them, but especially when Hubs travels on his long business trips:
  • Grandma and Papa K and Great Grandma K
  • Great Grandpa P and GiGi
  • Aunt M, Uncle D, cousins S and E
  • Grandma and Grandpa A
  • Aunt L and Uncle K (to be)
  • Uncle D and Aunt J (to be) and cousin A (to be)
  • Great Grandpa and Great Grandma S
  • Uncle A
  • Great-Aunts, Great-Uncles, Second cousins, too!

I wrote "to be" because Hubs' two siblings are GETTING MARRIED in April and May!  How exciting that we will be there for the weddings!  Well, not that wouldn't have been, but we will sleep in our own beds afterward;)

  • Why? To be near to our families.  Nine years ago as newlyweds, we had no idea how much we would need them once the babies arrived.  It took 7 years, but when they arrived, boy, did they ever!  Three boys in just under 3 years!

  • Where? The same town my parents and grandparents live in:)

  • How? DIY!  We drove the van back to MI for Christmas, then flew back and have been a one vehicle family for a month. It's had its moments and I'm looking forward to getting my minivan back, but I'm holding up better than I thought.  C has been poked a lot more than he's used to, sitting between the twins in his carrier:) Then the kids and I will fly back to MI with the help of Grandma A and Aunt L while Hubs and Grandpa A drive a truck.  

  • Who? The 5 of us.  There were just 2 when we moved out here!  Wow!

  • When? Feb 1.  which is just 13 days away...kinda freakin' out now that I just typed that.

P.S. Oh, and that's why the twins are attending preschool beginning Feb. 5...because it's the first day I can get them in!  And they'll be attending the Catholic School I attended for 8 years of elementary and middle school.  So exciting!  

Friday, January 18, 2013


"We're pretending its summer,mom?"

Yep. Getting a little cabin fever stuck inside most of the week- WE are healthy but our friends were not, so here we are and I decided to have a PBJ picnic in the playroom, complete with sunshine, Capri Sun, and our special picnic blanket.

And with a high near 40 this afternoon, it's looking like they'll even get to ride trikes once C is sleeping. We'd better- the bottom is going to fall out in 24 hours: negative digit highs predicted. That's January in Minnesota.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Potty, Naps, and Other Updates

1. Potty. Saturday marked one year (gasp) since I started potty training the boys. N celebrated by keeping his unders dry all day and earning a new black pair of Batman unders. He is still having ups and downs, but I think we are heading the right direction, if I take step back and look at The Big Picture, as in, one day this will be over and he and I will laugh and laugh (hahahahaha!) about the heck he put me through in 2012. M, of course, celebrated 6 months of dryness and awarded himself some stickers for it this weekend, not to be excluded from our merriment.

2. Naps. Today marked one week of being nap-less in Minnesota. We had 4 stellar bedtimes and 3 rotten ones, so I guess it's a success? Still tweaking it a bit, think we missed the magic "window of opportunity" which occurred around 5pm, then they got their second winds and were literally jumping on their beds till 8:30, but hey, Who cares, right? (Sigh) thank The Lord they passed out ten minutes after I closed the door tonight, the way I thought kids actually went to bed before I was a parent - oh, the power of television!

3. Dentist. I'm cavity-free today and got the usual lecture about flossing that I get very 6 months and I assume everyone gets, but today I learned I'm special and not in a good way. Apparently, I clench my teeth, which is causing damage and will need repair if I don't quit clenching and floss (more) regularly. So all day long, I (tried to) pay attention, and wouldn't you know it, I DO clench my teeth! And guess when I do it? When I'm dealing with N and the potty, which is every 45 minutes according to my phone timer, or at other random intervals when he decides not to make it in the bathroom. So if you put two and two together one could argue that potty training is actually causing me physical harm. When I researched the teeth clenching online, guess what helpful advice I found? Reduce stress. Sure, no problem.

4. Pre-school. Why am I freaking out about potty training? Because they have to "take care of their own toileting" to attend pre-school. Which starts for them Feb. 5. I've been playing Third Day's recent album, "miracle," praying for this, because, folks, I need one! N is not swayed by bribes, rewards, stickers, candy, unders, iPads, outings, or "adventures," and sometimes opts to stay home with me instead of go on a fun trip to Menards with Daddy and M, so I'm kind of concerned that my threat, "M will go to pre school and you will stay home unless you keep your unders clean and dry, " holds no clout. Mama needs preschool perhaps more than the boys, but you can't go unless you're potty trained and I've been training you for a year o my gosh I'm clenching my teeth just writing this!!!!!!

5. Other Updates. We have more news that I'm very close to being able to tell you. Once I do you might understand the teeth clenching. No one is pregnant or sick, no, nothing like that. I'm going to go nurse a baby and go to bed and probably clench my teeth all night in my sleep thinking about how to tell you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


In place of "naptime," which morphed into VERY unsuccessful "quiet time" over the last few months, as some folks suggested I try, I've taken the boys outside this week. It's been warm- as in between 25-35 degrees!- and they LOVE sledding down our hill, I guess it's an embankment, but it's just the right size for the kids and its in our side yard, so we go when C takes his afternoon nap.

They've also shoveled most of the lawn, "helped" build an igloo- okay, they just watched me make bricks- tried ice skating, Er, walking on the rink in our neighborhood, and rode their bikes and cozy coupes- no small feat with those snow pants and boots!

I've enjoyed getting some fresh air this week and become nearly streamlined in bundling the kids. We had a classic moment today where the kid (N, of course) finally gets outside and says "I have to go to the bathroom!" I thought, are you kidding me? I just took you! Well 5 minutes later he said it again so I knew it was true and raced him inside-score! He made it! I was going to say its a small victory, but for him, it's HUGE!

I'm not getting much done this week in the housekeeping department because the boys are awake 7-7, but soon I hope , I'll get organized and energized to use my evenings more wisely. Right now I'm just passing out and thanking Jesus for helping me make it through the day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Surrender!

I'Ve finally given up trying to get M and N to nap anymore. My friend convinced me yesterday, and I figured, if she can be pregnant and at home with her 3.5 yo twins, then I don't have an excuse anymore. I've been lying to myself that they were actually sleeping, because if I tried for 7 days, only 3 or 4 of 14 possible naps were actually taken, and usually with negative results between the hours of 5-9pm.

Last night I was having serious doubts about my Decision, since they were literally jumping on their beds for 45 minutes, resulting in...well, a pretty awful bedtime.

Then today I taught Practice Preschool again from 8:30-11:30, which nearly killed me by the way, and I *almost* caved in and put them to bed after lunch. But recalling my friend's wonder at her sons' extraordinary new bedtime routine, I pressed ahead and took them outside to sled after C went down for his afternoon nap.

A little fresh air and a few climbs up the "hill" on our side yard and I was feeling better because I totally planned to park them in front of the TV for a bit. And call me Ned Flanders, but I made them watch a Christian themed DVD too!

Keep in mind we are pressing hard to get N potty trained by the end of the month and you can imagine I was pretty "pooped" when the DVD ended and it was only 3:30!

They were kind of falling apart about 4:00, so I fed them dinner early...long story short, it was LOOOOONG Day, but it ended well

With snuggles and stories at 6:30, prayer and teeth brushing at 6:45, door closed by 7:00, and just a couple of empty threats before silence at 7:15. Take note of the time this is posted and know that I'm enjoying reaping the benefits of my hard work the last two days.

Now, what do people watch on prime time television? I'm ready for some suggestions now that my kids will be sleeping!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pre Pre School: Survive January

The debate is over: M and N will be attending preschool beginning February 5. That gives me 4 weeks to complete N's potty training and get them ready.

Yesterday was the typical disastrous first day back from a trip: unpacking suitcases, Grocery shopping, washing mountains of laundry, sorting 10 days' worth of mail, and the kids running amok, unsure of how to play without aunts, uncles, cousins, and their iPads and other assorted gizmos.

They refused naps as well, so after they passed out and I consumed an adult beverage and half a bag of Christmas pretzel m&m's, I decided today had to be different. One could call it a New Year's resolution, if one were inclined to keeping them. But I've failed every NYR I've made, so I'm not calling it anything. Except Survive January. That fits.

Eschewing all housework (the carnage!) I've convinced them that today we are practicing preschool. So far, we've spent an hour playing with busy bags (and cleaning them up because that's what preschool kids do - it worked!) eating a healthy snack, taking a potty break (N is earning stickers) and doing play dough. Now I'm supervising independent play in the playroom while pecking this out.

So far, it's 100% better than yesterday, but I have serious doubts how long I can keep this up. I guess at least 2 more hours because that's how long the class goes.

I'm absolutely certain changing my major from elementary to secondary education way back in 1999 was the right decision, by the way.