Friday, January 28, 2011
I never realized how important drive-thru's are to my sanity. Unfortunately there are significantly fewer here than in TX. I don't have to get the kids dressed appropriately for the weather and I don't have to get them in and out of the car, yet we can still get out of the house with a purpose. That purpose being getting me caffeine. They are pretty happy in the car for about 45 minutes but much longer than that I run the risk of someone falling asleep which is a killer to the schedule. So I do everything I can to stop them from sleeping like talking loud, pointing out trucks and buses where there are none, taking away lovies (this is mainly Eloise the little lovie hog), and poking them in the feet. The poking is last resort because it doesn't really work and is dangerous when I'm driving.
Although we are not technically under RSV restriction like last year we still have to be careful and curtail some of our normal activities. For example, I took the kids to the Milwaukee Art Museum (the scene for this weeks American Idol) in the morning and there were tons of school kids there. The triplets were in the stroller and not touching anything but elementary school kids LOVE multiples. They stop and point and stare. And I guess the school kids like the same exhibits as the triplets- American Folk Art because of the large number of animal pieces so it got a little crowded. Taking the elevator was a little scary too because each time we shared with a group of kids.
I also got one of those famously strange comments from a teacher that day. As we were all leaving the elevator she said to me, "I'd take my 35 over those 3 any day." I know people are not trying to hurtful but I didn't think that was very kind to my sweet babies that were sitting in the stroller with their eyes wide open not making a peep.
Anyway, I've been trying to come up with ways to keep us entertained in the house and each day is a challenge. One day this week I dressed all the kids in clothes that had dogs on them. I know that sounds silly but a great way to avoid a meltdown is to say, "Eloise, do you have a doggy on your dress?" She would stop in her tracks and look for the dog and generally forget the previous insult. I need to keep that in mind when buying clothes in the future. Who am I kidding, I mean when my mom buys clothes in the future. Did you catch that Mom?
I also remembered we had a few pop up play tents that were put away because we don't have the space to keep them up an a regular basis. I set them up in the nursery and hall.
These pants were coming unsnapped all day but it did not appear to bother him. He was going wild popping in and out of the green car tent popping open the snaps with each step.
Hey Eloise, can I get a picture without 6 lovies in your mouth?
Guess not. This is what happens when you take away lovies (which is why I take them away to keep her awake in the car.) Mean I know but if you think that is mean, you should see me when they don't nap and I have 12 hours straight with no break. That's mean.
Hmm, maybe I can play now that I have my lovies back. Addy and Beckett were hysterically running in and out.
You can see the dogs on both girls dresses. Look at her face. These are not the dogs days of winter.
I'm trying to incorporate more art projects for entertainment but I'm not yet willing to try try finger paints just because of the mess factor. This day they were using stickers which I think was very good for Beckett's fine motor skills. He was very careful about putting each sticker on top of the previous until they were all stacked up. Addy was so mad that they were were in one pile. She took his paper and unpeeled every one from the stack and spread them out on the paper.
This is more Beckett's style- climbing.
And this- dreaming about a house filled with croissants and trucks.
And this. Just kidding. Rarely these days does he want a barrette in his hair like the girls. He may have gotten over that phase or Rich had a secret talk with him.
He pulled that barrette out of Eloise's hair. Her hair is getting really long and really looks ridiculous without a barrette as you can see. She probably could use a little cut but I refuse. You can also see that we have a new favorite toy. Little jars. Really the girls only like the Aveda lotion jar to carry around. The other is a cheapo travel thing that they will accept in a pinch. But this day Eloise refused to put either down. She was struggling to carry around both with the tops off so I guess she figured out an easier method of transport.
Once one of the girls get their hands on them they will not put them down for fear the other will take them. Addy even napped with both of these they other day. I actually called my mom in desperation looking for more little jars because they are so popular.
The rest of these pictures I've named the What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up series. Beckett is crazy about stacking blocks. But he only wants them to be stacked up high one on top. I can see where this is very good for motor skills but very bad for his frustration level because once the girls see blocks stacked Addy comes to help which makes him mad and Eloise (or The Wrecking Crew as Rich calls her) tries to knock it down with the stroller. A genius engineer works much better when his sisters are not bothering him.
The talking dolls have a little panel on their chest that when you push it, or theoretically hug them, activates the talking. It reminds me of the mannequins you use during CPR class; it has the same feel and noise. When Addy is playing with the talking baby dolls she frequently is found doing something that the nurse in me calls pumping their chest or what looks like giving chest compressions. So this was the sequence of events...
Addy is running with the doll in the stroller. I'm guessing she is taking her to the hospital or someone called a code.
Help has arrived. Addy saved her and the Eloise is giving her orange juice. Addy knows better than to give chest compressions when someone is awake and drinking orange juice so I'm guessing she is trying to get her to talk.
Think I miss working? I mean, working at a hospital?
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Once at lunch I ASKED her if she threw her food and fork on the floor (she just did) and then TOLD her that throwing food was not allowed, blah, blah, blah. The minute I started talking she closed her eyes, stuck her chin out and turned her head to the side until I stopped talking. WHAT? I ignored her behavior. She stopped throwing food which was the point.
Then about 30 minutes later she did it again. I told everyone to go upstairs for naps. She had her back to me sitting on one of the riding toys and didn't budge while Eloise and Beckett scooted up the stairs. I got them in their room and came back down for Addy and she was in the same spot. I came around to her front and she was sitting there with her eyes closed and a big smile on her face. I told her it was time to go upstairs for nap. She kept her eyes closed and turned her head to the side still smiling. I picked her up, she started to laugh and kick and tried to bite me in the shoulder. I carried her upstairs explaining the whole way that I knew she heard me and she needs to listen when I ask her to do something.
Really? This is starting now? I thought I had at least until they turned 2. It was pretty funny though. My mom made a good point. Maybe it was not- If I can't see you I can't hear you BUT If I can't see you with my eyes closed then you can't see me. She was hiding and thought she was pretty clever.
No hiding that naughty I'm-up-to-something smile
And 5 seconds later...
And hiding from me 5 seconds after that...Seriously, what am I going to do about this hair? This is even after I put in curl conditioner.
I don't know if I just made this up or read it somewhere or it is my own neurosis leaking into my parenting but I have this theory of "effective play" or at least that is what I call it. Effective is really not the right word. It should be more like efficient or productive or some other word beyond my grasp right now but here is an example of how I use my theory-
When I'm giving Rich a reason as to why we should clean up the toys I say, "They can't play effectively in such a mess." or "How could they play effectively when they are falling down from stepping on toys" or "(insert name here) it sure is hard to play when you are dodging toys. Please help me pick up the toys."
They can take all the objects that are movable by those little hands and spread them all over a room in a matter of minutes. It can be toys, stuffed animals, books, magazines, pots and pans from the kitchen, laundry pulled out of baskets, chairs, balls, strollers, boxes of wipes, whatever. If they can move it or reach it, it is fair game. I need to video tape exactly how this happens because we can come downstairs to a totally clean living room. I go into the kitchen for as long as it takes to make toast and come back to total destruction. I understand total destruction is expected with 3 19-month olds. But I just don't understand the exact method because when I'm watching it doesn't look that destructive. Are they just throwing things in the air when I'm not looking? Are the pugs helping in dumping out buckets of toys that would normally be too heavy for my kids? Do they have super human cartoonish speed when my back is turned?
Anyway, back to the theory. I just don't think that they can play without getting frustrated or even hurt if they can't even walk or push a baby stroller without running over or tripping on something or can't find an item they are looking for.
Here are a few examples-
-We have 1 spoon and 1 juice box that make the baby dolls say, "umm, umm, umm, umm" and then something in Spanish that I don't understand. Eloise gets super freaked out if she wants to feed the dolls and can't find the proper utensil to make them talk.
-When I am washing dishes or cleaning up the kitchen I have them do learning tasks like I name various animals and they have to find that animal magnet on the fridge or I name a food like a banana or grapes or bread and they bring me that item from the fake food bin or I ask them to pour me tea into a cup. I always ask things that they know and I know we have. When they can't find that item they sometimes will bring me something different but many times get frustrated and have a meltdown.
-Two weeks ago Beckett tripped on a toy and fell into the window ledge and gave himself a huge shiner that immediately puffed up next to his eye. Because the injury was so close to his eye, it became black and blue and now still green surrounding his eye. It looked really bad and made me second guess the decision to take him to see someone.
I know kids are clumsy and fall down. Still, I feel like they should be able to walk around and know where to find things without frustration in order to foster their imagination and creativity and have productive play time. I'm not a total freak, I understand at this age that some disorder is good because that in itself fosters creativity and problem solving but it has to be balanced with consistency and boundaries.
So, two sometimes three times a day I put every single little toy back in place. I don't just scoop up the mess and throw it back into bins. Every little person goes back in the bus, every piece of fake food goes back in the food bin, every dish from the tea set goes back on the shelf, every baby doll goes back in the stroller, every book goes back in the bin, every Matchbox car gets lined up back on the window sill, every block goes back into it's bin, every rubber reptile goes back on top of the kitchen set, all the animals magnets go back on the fridge and every truck gets lined up back in the corner.
I just think that they should come down the stairs when they wake up or after nap to a fresh start. They should know where to find the toy food, know where the baby bottles are to feed the baby dolls, and know where to find the tea set or whatever. I also think this helps because then they know where things go when it is time to put the toys away. They do help put things away if they are not distracted by the next activity and they still think that doing tasks is fun. They haven't figured out the "chore" aspect of it-yet.
Maybe I've concocted a theory to dismiss my need for order. Or maybe, their "playroom" is actually our living room/dining room space that is shared by 2 adults, 3 children and 2 snorty pug dogs. But what I really think is that this "theory" is a way of giving meaning to something that consumes so much of my time and energy on a daily basis. Okay, gotta go. The kids will be up from their nap soon and I have a room to clean!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
One of the most frustrating yet lovable things with Beckett is that he does not talk yet is still very verbal. He is constantly jabbering, babbling, grunting, whining, and pointing. I know he gets as frustrated as us when he is trying to make a point we don't understand. He is probably the most verbal when just playing or walking around with his own little gibberish.
He is nuts about books and wants you (or the nearest adult) to NAME everything in a book for example his truck book. He will point to a truck and say, "ughh" and if you don't say, "cement mixer" or whatever the truck is, he will say, "ughh" louder and louder until you respond. And you better know your trucks because if you say cement mixer and his is pointing at a skid steer, the grunting doesn't stop. If you fail to respond sometimes he will move on to a new truck and start over or it might escalate to whining but I usually ask him to bring the book to me so I can see what he is pointing. He is a eager little guy and will pop right up and bring his book over to me, walk backwards a few steps so he can back up into my lap, plop down and start the "ughh" and frantic pointing all over again.
This little scene was pretty funny because it looked like Eloise was reading to Addy and Beckett. What a good little student. I asked him to smell the flower and he found the flower on the page and smelled/licked it.
That was in preparation for smelling and picking (whoops sorry) rosemary at the nature center.
Here's the pointing. That little finger is always in motion. He wants to know the name of everything and can point at the correct object when asked again later.
I don't know where he gets the pointing from...
Actually when I look back, this was a really cool picture that represents a big developmental milestone for all three. In the far left you can see a snapping turtle. There were 2 other turtles at the nature center that we saw that day and Beckett really loved them. A few days later they were bringing me animal magnets from the fridge and I was naming them. Beckett brought me a turtle and I said, "That's a turtle" and he pointed outside and was insistently grunting. Ohhhh, he remembered the turtle from the nature center. So now when we name animals there is a lot of pointing upstairs or outside and we recognize other places that turtles or cows or horses or pandas or dinosaurs exist. Like the nature center, upstairs in the Little People farm, a stuffed animal in the other room, or in the toy box. A few days ago when Addy had one of her short nap days I put on a National Geographic show about elephants. She was looking at it for a few minutes, then hopped up and ran over to a chair with stuffed animals, picked up the elephant puppet and ran back to sit down and watch hugging the elephant. I almost fell over.
He liked the nature center but while the girls were trying to escape out the windows he found a magazine to thumb through. He would be thrilled if life revolved around books, cars, trucks, triathlon magazines, animals, milk, and croissants with strawberry jam.
We definitely still have weight issues with him. You may notice that he pretty much lives in bib overalls. That is because most pants fall off him. I have a few 12 month pants that fit but they are a little short and still even those may fall off. Just this week I put a pair of 12 month pants on him and the next thing I knew he was walking around pants less because they fell off. My mom bought him a belt that we will try but what I really want are suspenders which I have been unable to find. If anyone knows where to get some, let me know! He just never wants to eat because he would rather be playing and when he does eat it is things like black olives, pears, rice, jam and generally low fat items with the exception of croissants which he devours. This is why he needs more calories because he is an active little boy. Listen carefully and you can probably hear the characteristic Beckett jabber.
I love this picture. Beckett had just figured out that those were black olives on the toy pizza and they didn't come off!
He was sooooo upset that I ended up opening a can of black olives for him to eat even though I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and it was right after dinner. Is that the most pitiful face? What a sweet and innocent little guy. This is what I mean about The Heartbreaker.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Usually stuff with Addy wearing sunglasses with only one lens
A brief glimpse of Eloise dancing
The girls sharing a MacDonald's Hotcakes container
Addy running into something
And the ever present chatter of the You and Me baby dolls in Spanish.
All in about 20 seconds.
I can't believe I captured Eloise sharing on video! She had rough couple weeks but this week she has been just great. Those evaluators should come back this week, I'll bet they would give her a few extra months in the social-emotional category. If they had a category for baby doll care, both girls would have graduated and teaching the course.
I never know if she is changing a diaper, undressing her or trying switch her on.
She knows to give her a hug to make her start talking.
Safety First! Addy is always concerned about the seat belts. She can fasten the seat belt but not unfasten which is frustrating for both of us. She yells, "mamamamamamamama..." until I come running to unsnap the belt. Then 10 seconds later I hear, "mamamamamamamam..." and I know just what the problem is.
Eloise enjoys the finer things in life- she's a clothes horse, loves all accessories like shoes and sunglasses and bracelets, is crazy about cars (Matchbox racers that is) and is bona fide foodie. Can you tell?
The little dolls have become quite the posers for pictures. They were pretending to go on the potty after baths. Pretending because I'm sure they both peed in the tub. In fact I can sometimes catch them peeing and I put them on the potty, they stop peeing, get off the potty and them pee in the original spot which is either on the floor or in standing in the bathtub.
(I don't THINK you could see anything in this picture but I don't want there to be any excuse in the future of them saying I ruined their lives for posting naked pictures on the Internet.)
Where is Beckett you ask? He does not believe in peeing in anything that is so perfectly suiting for storing toys or standing in.
Monday, January 17, 2011
"Beckett, stop putting food down your pants."
"Beckett if you put more blueberries down your pants, you are done eating and getting down."
"Addy, you just ate fruit that was in Beckett's pants."
Let me set this up...
Beckett didn't want to wear his bib at dinner. He was wearing bib overalls with a brown shirt and no messy food so I didn't feel like fighting. During dinner he kept pulling the front of his bibs forward and looking down inside and pointing at the tag near his legs. I thought it was just a funny thing this silly boy was doing. When dinner was done I was feeding them what I call "Baby crack" which is freeze dried blueberries and strawberries. They have virtually no calories but do have Vitamin C and fiber so I just use them as entertainment. I put out piles of them when I'm trying to do some dishes before bath time. Beckett was fussing and pointing at his pants while eating. Normally they are totally silent packing in the fruit as fast as they can and only scream when they need more so I figured something was amiss. Eventually I figured out that he was putting strawberries down the front of his overalls, pulling them back out and eating them. He was mad because he lost one.
Insert Quote #1
I started doing dishes again and saw out of the corner of my eye that Beckett was still messing with the front of his overalls and now eating blueberries.
Insert Quote #2
I continued with the dishes and Beckett was still talking and pointing at stuff but kids this age are just chatterboxes and the kitchen was a mess so I didn't really investigate much more. After I finished the dishes and they ate two bags of fruit I pulled Beckett out of the feeding table and blueberries fell out of the bottom of his pants. I stripped off his overalls and captured 14 blueberries and 6 strawberries. That doesn't even count the ones that fell out as I pulled off his pants.
I lined them up on the table and ran to get my camera and came back to find Addy stuffing the last of the fruit in her mouth.
Insert quote #3
It's not really as funny in context but as I was saying it I was totally cracking myself up. I think I'm giddy from being home with the kids (no outings) for 2 days straight. It is a wild 10-20 minutes to get everyone dressed and out to the car but normally try to go someplace everyday. Maybe we will just go for a short drive looking for buses, trucks and diggers but so worth it just to be reminded that a world exists outside of my sometimes surreal daily lives with triplets.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Beckett found my personal favorite gift- Carter onesies. My kids wear these under everything day and night. We had short sleeve ones but time to move to long sleeved in the cold WI winter. This is one of those things that are totally needed but I hesitate to spend money on these thinking we don't REALLY need new ones. I'm always short on clean ones and always digging through clean laundry baskets to find some. I go through 6-8 of these a day!!
I don't think this skirt was intended as a present but got pulled out of the boxes in the chaos. It is an amazing skirt that is made out of different wool sweaters sewn together. My mom bought it to get a good look at how it was made so she could then makes some for the girls at like 1/16th of the price. But, it is ours now! Do you think Crazycakes would let go of a gem like this?
Of course, no outfit is complete without shoes. Little crunchy girl in a sweater skirt, Danskos, pants under the skirt. Now where are the sunglasses and wool hat?
What is this? I don't think this is for me.
Don't worry about cleaning Eloise. The push broom is for Beckett. The little sweetheart has 3 brooms and he needs them because he helps me sweep after almost every meal. He can be in the other room and recognize the SOUND of sweeping and comes running to help. Now he is prepared for the heavy traffic days.
The chaos and joy brought by Grandma.
My mom said that she was hesitant to buy this because it said the age was 2+ but I'm so glad she did. I don't know what it is called but it matches their new play table, the kids love it and Beckett is always bringing me the little cars so I can play with him.
Look at this little doll in her new tutu. We now have 7 tutus but what girl can ever have too many tutus? Not mine. We have incorporated all the tutus into the decor in the nursery. Sorry Beckett, you will have your own room someday.
No way. Is this what I think it is?
I better get every little piece of paper and tape off this box. It's a keeper with all the baby pictures.
I don't need the box. I have the real thing!
I don't understand what all the fuss is about.
Eloise taking a doll for a stroll.
Addy taking a doll for a run.
Just a note about the dolls. I had NO idea how much they would love the dolls. This is the perfect age to foster imagination and pretend play, to do tasks, to organize and find items and to take an interest in things like brushing hair. The dolls and strollers are far and away the most popular toys in the house. They got a set of the You and Me Too Cute Twin dolls from Aunt Joni and Uncle Rich and the Corolle baby dolls dolls from my mom and we have 3 strollers. Eloise feeds the You and Me dolls after she eats, drags them around by their hair and knows to give them a hug to turn them on. The baby dolls are the classic beautiful baby dolls with eyes that open and close and interestingly enough their posture is almost like a really baby a heavy unsupported head so they kind of lay and snuggle on your body. All of the kids have started to take an interest in taking toys or dolls to bed with them and the baby dolls are a frequent choice for Addy. I think she just wants to play with the eyes but if that keeps her quiet when not sleeping, have at it. So anyway, if you have boys or girls this age, buy baby dolls. Eloise screams at the top of her lung EVERY time she comes down the stairs and sees the dolls lined up.
The strollers are very popular but they are not always filled with dolls. Today I saw Eloise pushing a truck book and a calculator. Beckett pushes around cars, magnetic animals from the kitchen and play food. And Addy, well watch below-
Oh Sweetcakes. I had mixed feelings watching this. On one hand she is so incredibly observant but on the other hand I don't want her to think that life is so complicated that when you go shopping you have to push a cart and a pull a stroller at the same time like I do.
At least here she is not trying to feed three babies.
Normally the stroller rides are not this wild but you can hear Daddy egging her on in the back.
I'm tired of hearing about baby dolls. I'll uncover my ears when we talk about cars.