Every so often I think to myself- "Hmm, what is my favorite age?" Inevitably I always think my favorite age is their current age. No longer. As of last week, almost 2 year olds are not my favorite age. This would partially explain the lack of recent blog posts as there are few more things factoring in here.
First of all the whole house thing has had me paralyzed for about a month which is about how long ago I saw my dream house for the first time. I'm happy to report that after waiting a week for Rich to see it, 2 weeks of negotiations, inspection, another week of negotiations and contractor estimates we are finally closing on a house at the end of June. I had this weird thing where I didn't want to do a post with an house update until everything was mostly finalized. Let me tell you, those few weeks of negotiations were just killer. I was barely sleeping, Rich was traveling and the kids started their wild-trying-to-outsmart-mama phase so it was a nightmare.
I've mentioned this but this is certainly NOT Rich's dream house. Picture the ugliest house you can imagine, the eye sore of the block and that is the house we purchased. But this is a great opportunity to really make the house that works for our family and our lifestyle and an opportunity for me to do a total remodel which is what I've always wanted to do. And this house needs it. It has the original 1949 FLOCKED wallpaper, original kitchen, a totally turquoise room, no appliances, oil heat, paneled family room... The list goes on and on. This redo is going to probably take a few years and I know our patience is going to be tested but we think it will be worth it. So my welcome challenge is going to be how to incorporate all of the original really cool things about the house and give it a modern feel and still keep it livable for a family with 3 toddlers and 2 dogs that shed like crazy and like to wipe eye boogers on everything.
Back to the kids and their current age. They will be 2 next week and their behavior is showing it. Everything now is a battle. Battle to get dressed. Battle to eat. Battle to go down the stairs. Up the stairs. Change diapers. Read a book next to a sibling. Play with toys. They battle me and each other. I could go on and on. And the battles all start and end with whining and crying. Except for 3 hours a week when I have a sitter, I am with the kids their every waking minute. I've been so fortunate the last couple of weeks to have tons of family events- BBQs at my Dads, my mom in town, Sarah over for play dates, my Aunt Rita in town for the day to play with the kids so we've been really busy. But just because there are other people around doesn't mean I don't still hear every cry, whine, whimper, and scream which is really tough.
For example, transitions and just prior to meal time seem to be the biggest problems. By transitions I mean the transitions from upstairs to downstairs or getting into the car or coming in from outside. I take the kids somewhere every day so that means getting on shoes and sweaters. By the time I get all three dressed to go out the door, someone, usually Addy, has taken off their shoes/socks/jackets/clothes/diaper whatever- you name it. Now when Addy gets in the car she frequently is not dressed appropriately because if I can get her to keep it on before getting to the car, she takes it off in the car. The other day I was pulling out of the Whole Foods parking lot and looked in the mirror and happen to see her shoes on the ground behind us. She pulled them off and threw them out the door before I closed it.
They also now like to play in the car picking up goldfish off the floor throwing them out the door and buckle their car seats while standing. Therefore they fight getting into the car seats. They make their bodies stiff and scream. Addy also clasps her hands together so I have to pry her hands apart to get the arm straps of her car seat on. Meanwhile all this fighting is going on while people are staring at me and my butt is hanging out of the car. I had a woman ask me if she could help me the other day and offered to put my full load of groceries in the car but I had to decline her help because I had to put the choo-choo wagon in first before the groceries otherwise it would not fit and I couldn't stop to put the wagon in or one of the kids would escape and I wasn't going to ask this nice mature lady to lift the awkward choo-choo.
Mealtime is another challenge. The kitchen in this townhouse is tiny and I have 3 kids and 2 dogs underfoot. The other day I had to put up a gate between the kitchen and the living room while everyone stood at the gate and screamed so I could just put away groceries because they were dragging toys into the kitchen and hanging on my legs and it was getting dangerous. Addy also picked up the dog water dish and when I told her to put it down she THREW it across the room and ran as fast as she could away from me and hid. That was the day that I had at least 1 kid in full meltdown mode for over an hour. Addy says- "Baby cry?" Yes, babies cry. "Mama cry?" Yes, Mama cries. I assure her that everyone cries sometimes.
How do I deal with all of this? Drinking. Just kidding- kind of. I know two other moms with triplets the same age and had them over for drinks the other night. All of our kids will turn two in the next week and we agreed that something has come over them in the last few weeks. Extra sassy. Extra smart. Extra challenging. But extra funny at the same time because of the ways they come up with trying to outsmart us.
Everyone always says to me "It must be getting easier." Yes and no. When the babies were little and we did feeding every 3 hours I was just physically tired. Now I'm mentally and emotionally tired. For example. As I've mentioned several times- Addy does not want to stay clothed. If her clothes are off then she can get her diaper off. Therefore I have a totally naked child running around in a rented house with wall-to-wall carpeting. When she takes her diaper off I've been trying to get her to use the potty. The problem with that is the minute I go in the bathroom with her the other two start banging on the door screaming to get in as well because they think we are in there washing our hands (which is a favorite thing to do by the way). She can't concentrate because of all the crying ("Baby cry?") and if I let the other two in they fight over the step stools, toilet paper, and all try to sit on the potty at once fully clothed. It would be totally humorous if I wasn't so petrified about seriously potty training them amidst the chaos.
Anyway, all of this to say that life is still going on here but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we have a really huge summer in store for us between parties, moving and a much needed vacation.
Again, totally disjointed pictures...
These are from when Aunt Rita was here and not only did she make us heart shaped gluten-free waffles but we got to watch TV in the afternoon (the last Oprah show!) That silly little stuffed dog still gets lots of attention and is the impetus for tons of fights...
Not of fan of that last show Eloise? I know, I wanted the last guest to be like Obama or William and Kate...
Yet another example of why Eloise needs a haircut- but a rare shot of her looking at the camera.
Addy helping me sort through paint samples.
One of our weekend rituals is to go out to breakfast and eat bacon, whipped cream and pancakes and then going to our favorite park. Eloise is just wild about playgrounds and the minute we get to the park takes off running towards it. It is out of sight over a bridge and about 1/4 mile away but she doesn't stop those little legs till she gets there.
Look at this great picture of my Mom and Eloise as she leads the way to the park in the fog.
My wild child becomes timid around new people at first. Give her about 20 minutes and she'll be the first one giving kisses and trying to sit on your lap.
My mom bought them sand toys which Beckett couldn't get enough of.
I'm not sure what was a bigger hit of the things my mom bought at CVS that day- the sand toys or the water bottles.
First ice cream cones- Beckett double fisting it. We live in the dairy state afterall...
He managed to still hold onto both cones AND tell me that his leg was dirty. That's my kind of move.
Ahhhh, summers in Wisconsin. Doesn't get much better than this...