Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coming Down From the Weekend High

I can't believe how much I can get accomplished when everyone takes 3 hour naps. We had a super busy weekend and I think they are still recovering. In one afternoon I can schedule the gas line to be dug at our new house (more on that later), fill out forms for Beckett and Eloise to start speech therapy, insult my husband on Facebook (sorry my Love), sort through baby clothes, repack some boxes for our big move, daily medicine routine on our old sweet pug Pickles, eat lunch and now start a blog post. My days are just 100% better when I get a chunk of time to feel like I've been productive.
Now about the big news...On Friday we did a walk through of our new house with the kids right before closing and it was just a glimpse of what a game changer this is going to be for us. If I haven't mentioned it like a million times- we have no yard in our current townhouse. Also, I have to move chairs to open the fridge and twist myself sideways to sneak past a chairs to throw things away in the garbage that sits on top of the dryer in the laundry room. So while I was wandering around inside Rich was outside playing with the kids. They were giddy. Seriously, Beckett could pick grass and throw it at things and poke the ground with a stick for hours. How nice is it going to be that I could just take them outside to play for 30 minutes rather than take them down the stairs, pack them in the car, pack a diaper bag, fight to get all of them in their car seats, fight over what DVD to watch (Pooh or Thomas the Train), and if we do end up getting out of the car, haul out the choo-choo, put shoes back on the girls who usually take them off and throw them, and on and on. Also, for their birthday they got a kids picnic table from Aunt Rita and Uncle Bill AND a sand and water table from Papa and Bama. I can't wait. Maybe this will curtail their desire to constantly play in the dog water dish or splash in the sink, ummm, I mean wash their hands.
The picnic table is going to come in handy when we move in because we won't have a counter, sink or stove. No stove for several weeks in fact. The house is heated with oil heat which is ridiculous. So we need to put in a new furnace and have natural gas dug to the house. We also had to buy a new stove and I wanted a gas stove so until we can get the permits and the gas dug which can take weeks- no stove. It's paper plates, take out and lots of finger foods for a couple of weeks. I just found that out on Saturday but I don't care. Let's get this done, it's been way over a year and quite honestly paper plates seems like nothing compared to some other inconveniences over the last year (like say 50 showings of our TX house?)
On Saturday I met the contractor at the house to hand over keys and then met him at the granite showroom to pick out counter tops. Within that amount of time the kitchen had been pulled apart and they had drop cloths down and were taping off for painting and the flooring people around. No messing around.
Then we took the kids with Bama and Auntie Vicki to a Farmer's Market at this amazing park. It was the perfect summer Milwaukee day with fresh food, bakery, live music, cheese curds, sail boats in the background and even a playground with a sandbox.
Beckett loves a good sandbox.

Good thing I had a bag of sand toys in the van for emergency digging.

Addy caused a back up at the slide because all she wanted to do was hang.

I'm surprised I have a picture of Eloise not on the swing. She can spot a swing from a mile away and will take off running towards the swing if you give her a chance.

Slides are pretty good too. Only if you can climb up the slide first.

There we go. Eloise in her element. A swing, Daddy and a beautiful view.

The playground was the highlight for the kids of the Farmer's Market but we scored big with tamales (dearly miss some good Tex Mex!) and I found a new source to fuel my cake addiction. Found to die for chocolate cake with buttercream frosting good enough to warrant a weekly pilgrimage.
On Saturday when the kids woke up from their nap we took the kids to the annual Downer Classic Pro Criterium. It is a fantastic urban bike course in a beautiful neighborhood of Milwaukee where people who live on the course have big lawn parties and there are restaurants and of course it is combined with a Belgium Beer Festival. It is really a fantastic event and watching bike races was something that we used to do before kids so to be able to take them and hang out for 3+ hours was unbelievably fun. Papa and Bambi met us so we had extra hands to keep the kids off the course and away from the super tempting lawn parties with tons of kids and chairs to climb on. Addy was nuts about waving at the bikers. Beckett was nuts about climbing in and out of the choo-choo and picking grass. Eloise was nuts about walking.
Those tiny little legs must have her Daddy's endurance.

This is a picture of the game "Who's Belly is Bigger?" or "Where's Your Belly Button?" Wonder who won that game?
The whole crew- I almost got smeared by the Mini Cooper that leads the race when I stepped out in the street to take the picture.

If that wasn't enough fun this weekend we went to my sister's house on Sunday morning to play in the backyard and have lunch together. They LOVE Sarah's house. It has swings, a sandbox, plants to pick, a wheelbarrow, trucks and usually really good treats. Whenever I talk about doing something or going somewhere Addy always says, "Sissy house?" or sometimes they say "Papa house?" They know that they play with water and trucks at Papa's house. When we pull into our driveway and say something about going home Addy usually says, "No. Sissy house." The other day I was reading the book Go Dog, Go to the kids. If you are familiar with the book at the end the dogs climb a tree to attend a dog party. The party has presents, cakes, dogs napping, getting shot out of a cannon, maybe a few swings- I don't know just a general good ole' time. We were looking at the dog party and Addy pointed and said, "Sissy house."
My heart just broke. I realized that they think that only Papa and Sarah have backyards to play in. How do you tell 2 year olds to wait a few weeks and they can have a dog party in their yard too?

Monday, June 27, 2011

3 Extra

In addition to my normal loads of laundry, today I have to do 3 extra loads. One for each time Addy took off her diaper and peed.
1. When I got her up from her nap- she was wearing only a shirt. Everything in the pack n' play was wet including the pack n' play itself.
2. Before bath in a matter of about 90 seconds when I was getting the milk she took off her diaper and peed on this big blanket that was on the floor. I walked in and she said "pee" and pointed to where she did it.
3. Tonight, 1.5 hours after putting the kids to bed they are still awake jumping from crib to crib and crying about dropped stuffed animals. I just went up there and Addy managed to get her sleeper and onesie off in addition to her diaper and peed in the bed.
One more thing. She is now refusing to go on the potty. She shakes her head and yells, "NOOOOOOO!!!!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yes I Can

On a frantic walk with the choo-choo wagon to Starbucks the other day a guy starting snapping pictures. He has a pretty sweet camera and a badge so I let him- most people ask first but whatever. When it seems that the first instinct upon entering a bathroom for everyone in the household is to play in the toilet water then Starbucks is a necessity. So I was on a mission and not stopping. This is what came of it...

It was in the print edition today, the online edition yesterday (front page!) and now in the photo gallery of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Just adore the headline that is in the print edition. In case you can't read it- "The Little Mommy That Could."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bitty Babies and Other Naked Things

We're starting 'em young- the obsession with American Girl dolls. The trio each got a Bitty Baby American Girl Doll for their birthday. Excuse me, Bitty Baby Twin, err Triplet dolls. And they ARE obsessed. They love these things. Thank you, thank you Grandma Diane and Grandpa Richard.
This is Eloise about 5 minutes after she opened hers. Not a great picture of Eloise but gives you an idea of what the dolls are supposed to look like.

This is a picture from today (with a potty chair!!)
In a nutshell, they drag these poor dolls around by their hair and want them always to be naked with the occasional shoe. Eloise is obsessed with putting shoes on the dolls. She puts shoes on (I mean she cries until I put shoes on the dolls) then takes them off and puts them in the shoe bin with her shoes. She goes back and forth taking shoes off, putting them away, putting them back on, putting them away. I'm a little concerned we might have a Carrie Bradshaw in the making. The other two like the shoes too and someone inevitably tries to put one of the doll shoes on when I ask them to go get their shoes if we are going somewhere. Like Beckett here...

Beckett also had them lined up and was forcing them to do morning calisthenics.
You call that stretching? Push yourself.

Addy likes to feed the dolls and make them go pee in the potty. The potty has a removable little cup which everyone tries to get me to put "wawa" in, presumably so they can then drink it? I don't know.

Here she is putting the "diaper" back on the doll after using the potty.
That's funny, the doll has to wear a diaper, but you refuse Addy.
Alright- who peed on the floor? I know, I know!!!!

She's not being punished for peeing. She is posing in her big girl panties for the first time!

She only had them on for about 20 minutes before bath but she loved them. Here's a rear view of the monkey trying to turn off the lights and the probable method in which she locked me out of their room the other night.

I'm hoping the potty training thing will be a monkey see monkey do type thing with these three. Already the other two wanted to run around in just undies tonight but I convinced Eloise that her diaper cover was like undies. Eloise also wanted to sit on the potty with Addy this morning- fully clothed- but it is a start.

And speaking of copycat monkeys- look what these little critters did today. They were eating lunch and I was on the phone with our mortgage broker about the latest paperwork crisis with our house closing and I turned my back and the next thing I knew they were on the floor eating water out of the doggie water dish. Using spoons and forks.

Beckett wasn't in the first picture because he was off fetching more utensils for their delicious dessert.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dancing Doll

Look at this post-frozen-custard-Father's-Day dance...

Of course Addy is polishing off the remains.

Please No Handwashing

Okay, now I just need the courage and a good start to the day. I have the Pull Ups, the big girl underwear, potties all over the house, mini M & M's, a potty training book for me and a potty training book for Addy. But when your day starts like this- it's hard to recover.
Yep, pee all over.
Then this is where I found the diaper.

This is what she did the other morning to try to get her diaper off. Goes on like this all day.How's that for morning hair?
I think I'm going to nominate myself for a Mom of the Year award. I'm not encouraging hand washing after going pee on the potty because it starts a whole chain of events with all three of them fighting over the sink, splashing in the water, soaking their clothes, knocking each other off the stools, playing with toilet paper and kids half dressed. I usually have to physically remove each child kicking and screaming from the bathroom once hand washing starts. Therefore, rather than hand washing I prefer the children spit on their hands and wipe their hands on their pants. A whole lot easier. And quieter.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Old Pics

I found these pictures from 4 months ago that I had started to post and then forgot. They are modeling their birthday sunglasses from Clarke.

All of the sunglasses have since been broken into bits by The Destructicon, I mean Addy. Can you tell I was watching Transformers while folding laundry?

Friday, June 17, 2011

A week in review

This past weekend and week have just flown by and I just can't find the time to fold the 7 loads on laundry much less download pictures of our birthday party. I solved the laundry problem by piling it all on the bed to that I HAD to fold it all before I could go to bed one night. It took and hour and a half. Between laundry and meeting with contractors and doctor appointments and the crib jumping and no napping I've been just beat.
Start with the bad news. Beckett and Eloise went to Children's on Wednesday for a speech evaluation. Eloise refused to talk or even look at the pathologist and sat on my lap the entire time sucking on a lovie. When she finally started to get interested in the toys she was pointing at a picture saying, "Da, da, da" and trying to get me to name the object and I couldn't figure out what she wanted me to say. She eventually got so flustered she burst into tears sobbing against my chest and then Beckett pooped his pants- for good measure. I felt so bad for both of them.

Eloise was evaluated to have the expressive language equivalent to a 12 month old and Beckett tested a little higher at 12-15 months. That was really hard to hear. I knew they were behind but I didn't know it was to such an extent. The interesting part is that they tested at the appropriate age for receptive language so they are understanding but not able to communicate back which totally breeds frustration for all of us.
The other thing that came from the visit was that some of Eloise's behavior of favoring routine, stranger danger and not letting me out of her sight probably has to do with her communication difficultly. I'm the person that understands her wants and needs so she knows that when I'm not around she is unable to communicate- therefore the total panic. I was concerned because she is so into routine and gets freaked out when the routine of a book or her expectations are thrown off. They said that has to do with communication difficulty as well. Routine is comforting to her and less frustrating. I thought that whining and crying was normal this age but they said that it is elevated with her because it is her only form of communication. Unless you are around here 13 hours a day 7 days a week, it is hard to understand the level of whining and crying that I hear constantly. It is unimaginably exhausting. But at least now we can have a method in which to work on the frequency- speech therapy.

That was until our insurance denied coverage and to pay out of pocket is $150 per 45 minutes per child. Seriously? There is a state program called Birth to 3 that I've talked about before and Beckett and Eloise qualified for back in January. But we were told that they bill our insurance and we pay a fee and since it is was out of network we would be paying out of network costs throught our insurance plus the monthly fee for the program and that it would be cheaper for me to go to Children's (in-network) and just do the co-pay and fore go the state program. That's what the insurance company told me. That was back in January and it has taken me this long to get the two of them into the Children's program with the hearing tests and screens and now my insurance is telling me they won't pay and I got misinformation at the time. So I have to go back to the Birth to 3 program and start over in the county system which took 3 months in the first place. Needless to say, I am furious. I feel bad for Eloise and Beckett because they are frustrated and I'm mad that all the frustration on their part and on mine could potentially have been diminished if we had started therapy back in January.
Okay, enough of that. The good news is that they both will get the therapy they need and I have a little more patience for the whining. The other good news is that I did what I thought was impossible. I scheduled all of the immediate work to be done on our house prior to moving in AND on budget. I have two weeks from the time of closing to the move to get the floors redone, kitchen remodeled, appliances delivered and the entire interior painted (except for the areas with the super awesome gold wallpaper). It's scheduled and scheduled on budget. We'll see how it all ends up but I can't tell you how excited I am to close on this house. We will still have tons of work to be done after we move and for a few more years but at least the really messy and toxic stuff will be out of the way.
The other big thing this week is that Addy is starting to potty train herself. She never wants to wear a diaper, or clothes for that matter, and will ALWAYS go on the potty when I put her on. She will even tell me when she has to go. Just today I started to transition her to pull-ups and bought a couple of packs of mini M & M's as a treat for after she goes but I haven't really concocted a plan yet of how this is all going to go down. I need to do that pretty quickly before I lose my window of interest and opportunity. Beckett wants to sit on the potty when she does but refuses to let me take off his pants or diaper. He sits fully clothed. Any suggestions would be welcome as to how to tackle this...
The other thing going on is that Beckett can now routinely escape from his crib. Before he was just crib hopping. Now he somehow lowers himself to the floor. I never know he's escaped because I don't hear a big thud of hitting the floor. I know because he is inevitably lured to the nosiest toys and all of the sudden I'll hear a tractor or fire truck going and I know he has escaped. When I walk in and catch him he drops to the floor and lays there very still like I won't recognize that his crib is empty. He does the same thing when I walk into the room and he is in the crib of one of the girls. He lays down and is really quiet so I don't notice. This has been incredibly disruptive to going to sleep at night and naps. The other day I had to put him back in his crib 5 times and the sixth time I caught him flipping into Eloise's crib and landing on her while she was sleeping waking her up. So that day for an hour I was fighting with Beckett to stay in his crib then he woke Eloise up, I sat in the room for 30 minutes staring him down so he wouldn't get out of his crib while Eloise was sitting up staring at me. When Beckett finally fell asleep Eloise would not and when I tried to rock her back to sleep she just kept putting her fingers up my nose. So that was the end of nap for her.
The other night they did not go to sleep until 10 pm- 2 1/2 hours after I put them down because they were playing so much.
The party animals...

Playing and torturing each other. At one point when I went in Beckett and Addy were in Addy's crib with ALL of the stuffed animals and Eloise was sitting her crib by herself sobbing because they took all of her animals.

Mug Shot


That night I resorted to pulling the pack n' play into their bedroom and putting Beckett in it thinking that was the only way to keep him from disrupting the others. Nope, he was able to get out of that as well. I have no idea how but 5 minutes later I could hear that tractor and fire truck going again so I knew he was out. The only thing that worked was to put Addy in the pack n' play because he can't get IN it and that way his play buddy was out of commission. It's not as fun to stir up trouble by yourself so I think he gave up and went to sleep.
So that is how the first week with 3 two year olds went. Exhausting and frustrating but pretty funny at the same time. I'll leave you with a last story about what these little monkeys are up to.
The other night before I went to bed I went in to check on the kids and I noticed Beckett was curled up into a ball and totally under his blanket, head and all. So I lifted up the blanket to prevent suffocation and it wasn't Beckett under there, it was a decoy. It was his stuffed gorilla that he used as a decoy to throw the prison guard off his jail break trail. Truly at first glance I thought it was him and I was totally confused. I looked around and he was in Addy's crib curled up snuggled with her under her blanket. Oh, the sweet joy and innocence of multiples.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two Year Doctor Visit

The day after their birthday the kids went to their 2 year check up. My mom came with me which was reminiscent of us taking them to their first pediatrician visit a few days out of the NICU. This was unquestionably easier and less stressful. I think that time we got up at 4:45 to do the 5 am feeding (which took until 6:30), pumped, showered, packed the diaper bag for the first time dressed the babies and barely got them in the car and to the appointment in time for the next feeding in middle of the exams at 8 am. This is a picture in the waiting room and I am just in awe of the picture because if you look really close you can see the size of Eloise's head in comparison to my hand. Amazing.

If you remember, these were their weights 3 days out of the NICU at 5 1/2 weeks old-
Beckett 4lbs, 5 oz
Eloise 4 lbs
Adeline 4 lbs, 9 oz

Here they are lined up waiting to be weighed.

It is really hard for me to look at this pictures because they were so little and so fragile and it was such an unbelievably stressful time. Even before they were born and we got the infamous "scary talk" that the neonatologists give to all parents with the impending premature birth we were told that barring no major physical or neurological problems that with any luck by the time the kids were 2 they would most likely have developmentally caught up. I made a decision that their health was going to be first priority until their second birthday and we would assess and decide to pursue any potential developmental delays at that time. So here we are. The birthday that the neonatologists and developmental specialists said would be the magic number.
Well this doctor visit was the big test and the ONE I had been hearing about for two years. Here are the general stats...

Weight- 24lbs 12.5 oz (25th percentile)
Height- 34 inches (50 percentile)
Head Circumference 90th percentile

Mr. Beckett
Weight- 22lbs 5.5oz (less than 5th percentile)
Height- 34 inches (less than 50th percentile)
Head Circumference 75th percentile

Little Dolly
Weight- 22lbs 13 oz (less than 10th percentile)
Height- 32.5 inches (less than 25th percentile)
Head Circumference greater than 95th percentile

So their weights are not as much as we would have liked. Because at about 2 years is when they should have really caught up we may need to be a little more aggressive in trying to get their weights up. Our pediatrician said that normally she has children move to skim milk but we are going to move to 2% rather than whole milk as they are drinking now. She would like us to start adding Carnation Instant Breakfast to their milk to increase their calorie intake which is something I'm not crazy about. I just think that is gross and too much sugar. I just despised the fact that they had to drink formula rather than breast milk and was ecstatic exactly one year ago when we moved to milk. I feel like this is step back. I'm going to have to investigate more options. If anyone has any suggestions that are a little more organic, please let me know!!
Other than weights she thought that Addy was doing great and no concerns. Beckett and Eloise are possibly a tad behind in gross and fine motor skills but nothing of concern and unless we were concerned she didn't think it was even worth addressing again until they turn 3. Beckett and Eloise will be having a speech evaluation this week at Children's and most likely starting speech therapy. I'm dreading this appointment because the evaluation takes 2 hours per child and I'm taking both at the same time. Eloise has intense 'stranger danger' and is very fearful in new places and with new people so I don't even know how they are going to do an evaluation with her much less do any sort of therapy. She won't leave my lap and pretty much screams when anyone comes near her. This might be a painful process with her. But I think Beckett will love both the evaluation and therapy if needed. He loves to talk, loves people, loves going new places and is super curious so I'm sure this will be very positive all around for him.
So was everyone right? Was this the 'magic' birthday? Looking back at how far they've come, how far we've come and how much their future holds, how can it not be?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Addy goes to the spa

On Friday during nap time Addy kept yelling "Mama, mama, maaaamaaaaa." My Mom went to get her after about 45 minutes. When she walked in she saw Addy standing up in the pack n'play bare butt (she sleeps separate from the other two at nap time) with her diaper and pants thrown on the floor. Addy announced "Pee!" the minute my mom walked in. To make a long story short she took off her diaper and pants and peed on her animals and lovie and then couldn't nap. I knew it was not going to be a good scene when I saw the little half-naked girl being carried down the stairs.

She then refused to wear a diaper so we spent a good part of the afternoon in the bathroom on the potty. She knows that after the potty she gets to wash her hands which is wildly popular with all three. Even though Addy is the only one at present time who is asking to go potty, all three will somehow get in on action either by washing hands or sitting on a potty fully clothed, dragging a potty into the living room, or unrolling toilet paper.

Because my mom was here and kids get to do extra fun things when Grandmas are around handwashing turned into water play. The other two lost interest after a few minutes but Addy's attention span is unbelievable. It went from handwashing to bubble making to making faces in the mirror to face washing.

All with no pants on. Of course, this was all being done with lavender soap- not tear free so you can guess how this ends...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy Second Birthday

Today our sweet babies turned two. Most of our birthday activities are planned for this weekend but in my world, a birthday is not complete without cake and ice cream.
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Poor Eloise tried to reach for the flame and I freaked out so she got scared and cried so hard she never ate any cupcakes :(
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Bedtime books after a long day of Legos, balloons, and Cheesecake Factory...
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I know they are now officially toddlers but look at these little darlings- they are always going to be my babies.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last time I checked...

As far as I can tell, Addy can't crib hop like the other two. But she tries to climb IN the cribs. I was getting Eloisee dressed this morning and I looked up and this is what I saw. Addy had been dressed with a diaper on last time I checked.

Back at it

The other night after 30 minutes of giggling and screaming I went into the kids room to see what was going on. I found Beckett straddling two cribs. Just sitting there entertaining his sisters. I tried to get me to show how he did it. This is all I got. Pretty good landing compared to last time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gimme a break

How innocent they look sitting on big chairs after dinner by Lake Michigan...

Looks can be deceiving.
The kids are always in bed with the lights out at 7:30. Right now it is 9:15 at night. Why is there still talking? Let me recap how this all went down tonight.
-Lights out at 7:30.
-Beckett and Addy talking and laughing until about 8:30. Screaming in fact. Lots of No, No, No.
-Eloise started to cry at about 8:50.
-Rich went up and found Eloise in Addy's crib. What? How can that little peanut crib jump? And when did this start?
-All quiet until about 9:00 when Eloise started to cry again.
-Rich came down the stairs carrying Eloise (we NEVER take them out of their room at night by the way) announcing that she pooped.
-Four of the last 7 nights when I've checked on them I've had to change Eloise's diaper because she was sleeping with a poopy diaper.
-It's 9:23 pm and one child is still squeaking and squealing like a pig.
-It's been almost 14.5 hours since the first one woke up this morning.

To top it all off, yesterday when I walked into the room to get Addy up from nap she was standing up waiting for me and handed me her diaper and said, "Poop." Thankfully at this point poop can be poop or Pooh- as in Winnie The- which they know is on their diapers (let's hear it for Huggies Overnights). Or maybe they call diapers poop because of what goes in it? Point is- just a wet diaper, this time. Who know what tomorrow holds.
Just had to throw in an extra picture of my sweet Mr. B- notice it was the girls causing all the commotion this week? Little guy was mesmerized by the tennis match going on across the street.
I know Beckett- tennis dresses and skirts are pretty sweet. That is precisely why I took up the game at the ripe old age of 30- something...