I wasn't too worked up before over the weather but now I'm getting a tad annoyed. Seriously, it is the middle of May and I still need winter coats and hats for the kids. Case in point- our mid-morning snack and play date at Auntie Sarah's house on Monday.
It is even doubly annoying since I can't keep clothes or shoes or socks on Ms. Addycakes. Last Friday I swear she wore six different outfits and I took out as many pairs of socks because she kept taking everything off, hiding it and then was opinionated about what she would put back on. By the time we get anywhere in the car she has taken off her shoes and socks and today while were were at Whole Foods I looked back at her and she was lounging in the choo-choo wagon with her bare feet in the air. Luckily her shoes and socks were still in the wagon. Sheesh.
Despite the cold weather I have been diligently taking the kids everywhere and slowly letting them out of the confines of the stroller or choo-choo in public places by myself. Before last week I don't know if I have ever taken them out of the stroller to walk by themselves in public or not in a fenced in area (like animals- just kidding.)
I took the kids to the zoo, of course was carrying Eloise in the Baby Bjorn and since the reptile house was empty, and they couldn't really get out the door I figured I'd let them out. I can't believe Eloise would not be scared of dark scary reptile house of all places but as soon as she saw the other two out of the wagon, she was good to go as well. I can't believe how well they did. They hung out within 10 feet or so of the wagon and followed my directions about coming back and holding hands. We did a couple loops of the house, Beckett got back in the wagon, Eloise back in the Baby Bjorn and Addy walked behind the wagon out the door. Addy walked next to the wagon for the entire rest of the visit. She never once wandered off, tried to run or made any sort of escape attempt. Beckett would get out and look when we stopped like at the lions or elephants but got back in when we started to walk again. I was of course carrying Eloise but pulling only 1 baby in the wagon rather than 2 made a huge difference and I don't think I even broke a sweat this time. We even all sat on a picnic table having a snack and watching the flamingos. Everything went swimmingly until about 10 feet from the van when Addy fell and skidded on her head leaving a big raspberry on her forehead. That's a daily occurrence for someone around here so it was overall very successful.
So successful that I let them out of the wagon a few more times last week, a few times at Whole Foods, the art museum and another time at a park in a big field where we practiced walking together and following each other. The last two trips to Whole Foods have been a little nerve wracking because Addy pooped both times. The first time we had walked there in the jogging stroller so I HAD to change her before the 45 minute walk back home. The problem was the jogging stroller didn't fit in the door of the restroom so I had to leave it outside and get all 3 to walk into the bathroom. AHHHHH, germs!!!!! Eloise and Beckett were FREAKED out being in the bathroom and the minute they got inside started to wail and the minute I got Addy's diaper off (she was screaming as well) Beckett threw himself face down in front of the swinging door. If anyone would have come in they would have squished him. There wasn't a lot I could do. I was pretty freaked out as well. Luckily no one came in and my diaper changing skills are pretty spot on so the chaos was short lived. I managed to get everyone sanitized out the door and everyone but Eloise back into the stroller. She was so freaked out I had to carry her for a bit while pushing a stroller with two kids in it and a bag of groceries at the bottom.
I had the choo-choo wagon this week when I went to Whole Foods and the kids were sitting having a snack when Addy stood up and said, "Poo-poo" and patted her bottom. She didn't have a dirty diaper but that was the first time she told me PRIOR to going- I know, she is totally ready to potty train. Then she started to point to the door of the bathroom. No way was I going to recreate the scene from last week so I told her to go and we would change her diaper in the car- drove this time.
This wasn't too much better of a scene. I had an entire CART of groceries that I normally push while pulling the wagon. My sweet Beckett was cooperating and got in the wagon but Addy refused to get in because she didn't want to sit down. And Eloise refused to get in the wagon and only wanted to be carried. I'm totally used to juggling but even I can't pull the wagon, push the grocery cart and carry two children. So Eloise reluctantly went into the seat in the cart, Beckett was in the wagon and Addy walked next to the wagon holding on. I had to walk through the store, down an elevator and through a parking lot like this. I couldn't believe it. She held onto the wagon the entire time- never once letting go. It did take like 20 minutes because she was walking so slow trying to hold onto the wagon and shuffling her feet with the full diaper but we made it.
I got a little cocky with our minimal success so today I made the fatal mistake of taking the kids to a bookstore with the choo-choo wagon. I don't know if I've mentioned this but unlike the rest of our strollers, the wagon does not have seat belts so I can't willfully keep the kids in the wagon if they want to get out. They rode the wagon in the store. I let them out to sit at a table and in the amount of time the sales clerk showed me the location of the Winnie the Pooh and Richard Scary books, the kids had about 30 books piled on the table. They were excitedly running to the shelves, pulling a book off, putting it on the table and running for another. I knew I was on the brink of losing control- the sales clerk probably thought I already had- so I grabbed a handful of books, apologized and instructed the kids to follow me and headed for the register. They did without a peep. They stood by me when I paid and they followed me out the door into the entry way where the screaming began about getting back into the wagon. Beckett, bless his heart, got in with a bribe a of new book but the girls refused. They ended up walking the 2 blocks back to the car both holding onto to a finger of one hand while I pulled the wagon. They did really well and never once tried to get away but it was pretty nerve wracking.
It's a constant battle to allow my kids independence while trying to keep them safe. I just don't have enough hands. It is a struggle to try to find activities that are manageable and safe with one adult and three kids. Their new independence is both anxiety producing and empowering for me. I love that we get out every day and do a whole variety of activities but at the same time, getting out means I'm always ON and trying to stay on step ahead of these three little smartypants kids.
Enough complaining, on to the pictures. Sorry don't have too many this week and they don't really fit the title but that kind of sums up our week- random and disjointed- because I'm totally preoccupied with figuring out and obsessing over houses. No update- YET but hopefully soon.
Like I said, I can't keep clothes on Addy. I've given up in the house. It's like the minute her clothes come off, she goes wild. Jumping....
Strapping herself in the stroller and screaming for help...(that one is obnoxious)
They love to harass me in the kitchen. The minute I step foot in the kitchen they think it is time to eat which makes cooking any sort of decent meal very challenging as is trying to keep the peace while maintaining their appetite for the next meal. I found that giving them cucumber sticks keeps them happy and doesn't really fill them up. On this day I was making citrus rice so I handout out the juiced lemons. It was a huge hit.
OOOOH, that last one was sour!
We were looking at a house last week with out real estate agent and we brought the kids- only because the house was empty! As the kids were running like maniacs through the house our agent made a comment about Addy and Beckett being "thick as thieves." It's true, Beckett and Addy really gravitate towards one another while Eloise kind of does her own thing and gravitates towards me. While I usually get pictures and video of the other two doing something wild, that's not Eloise's style. She sorts, organizes, feeds people and dolls, folds laundry, is entertained by the other two and snuggles with her lovies. Whereas Addy and Beckett ham it up for the camera, getting a picture of this little imp can be really difficult because she is always sooo busy.
Poor thing would probably sleep a few hours more per day if her siblings didn't always wake her up. Here she is waiting to go upstairs for a nap.
Like I said, no update on the house yet but hopefully in the next few days...