Friday, October 28, 2011
Our play date with the Kukowski triplets to frost cookies. Can you believe they are all sitting so patiently waiting?
Addy was a little freaked out about the mess it made.
Like I said, my 3 didn't last long with the cookies. That's okay, more for me to eat and eat I did. I'm a total sugar consumption pro but even 5 or 6 cookies with frosting and sprinkles can give me a headache.
I decided not to post the naked ones. They are best saved for a very important occasion, like blackmail.
Did I ever mention that we have a laundry chute? I absolutely love it but I think the kids love it even more. You should see what accumulates in the basement by the end of the night. Inevitably during the day I tell someone to throw away a diaper for me and it always ends up in the "chute." The first morning fight is usually about who gets to throw what down the chute when we are getting dressed. Addy likes to throw "stinky lovies" down the chute much the dismay of Eloise who thinks the stinkier the better. Guess Addy was regretting her latest toss.
Eloise has become a little fish and refuses to get out of the bathtub until all of the water is gone. Beckett likes to get out of the bathtub right after his hair is washed because it is so traumatic that he needs a little snuggling time before getting dressed. And Addy and Beckett are inseparable so many times Addy and Beckett run around naked while Eloise finishes in the bathtub. Look at these two going to check on Eloise. Doesn't Beckett look like a little old man being helped by Addy? I think he is hunched over because she is really not that much taller than him.
And here is the little darling fresh out of the tub and ready for bed. She thrives on routine and the evening routine is most consistent so this is one happy little girl.
These were my little leaf helpers the other day. This is a few days after I spent 3 hours raking.
Eloise is so determined. She was working so hard helping me push the leaves around.
Grocery shopping, real or pretend, is an absolute favorite past time. Luckily they have plenty of purses, carts, and things to shop for.
Here are the girls pouring over their loot. Mainly sippy cups and some Pooh figurines along with a few pieces of fake fruit.
I couldn't resist this posting this pouty picture of Addy with that little curl sticking out of her hat.
Ohh, here are the pictures of the rug that I won in a bet with Rich. Did I mention that our dining room is empty and has become a second playroom. The kids thought it was an excellent choo-choo train.
And a great trampoline.
And frankly a pretty groovy new floor for a dance studio.
These are pictures from Sunday when Sarah, Jim and Oliver were over helping with a few house projects. My kids absolutely idolize Oliver, who is 4. Beckett plays right next to him and you can tell just thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread. Eloise laughs hysterically at everything he does, the naughtier the funnier. Addy watches him very closely and will copy his actions a few days later saying "Oliver do dat." On Sunday the figured out a game where Sarah would push Eloise down the sidewalk on the tractor, Oliver would run along side of her and then catch her before she went into the big pile of leaves in the street. It was the cutest thing to see. Total adoration.
Look at Beckett. He is trying to do the same thing but not as fast so he needs a little bit of a head start.
Apparently Beckett has a super gross diaper which Oliver pointed out by plugging his nose but later said that it smelled beautiful just to make the kids laugh.
What a funny kid. He's kind of beautiful himself don't ya think?
Speaking of beautiful- look at these gems that just came out of Sarah's garden. She is a fantastically creative cook and I can't wait to see what she is going to make with these. And bring the left overs to us... Hint, hint.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
We do speech therapy once a week with Beckett and Eloise. Our therapist comes to the house and all of the kids LOVE her. Today we practiced blowing bubbles with straws in glasses of water. And drinking from straws. And wiping up water. Then we frosted pumpkin cookies and practiced sprinkling sugar on the cookies. Eloise has had another great week and I found out that she actually has meet all of her goals we had set at the beginning of therapy. And last night, guess what word Eloise said? Paris. We have a wallpaper scene of the Left Bank in Paris in our eating area and we were talking about Paris and out of the blue, Eloise just said it. We then called my mom and left her a message. This is what it said:
Me- "Eloise, where do you want Mimi to take you?"
Then we hung up. Pretty much the cutest message ever.
After speech therapy this morning the doorbell rang it was UPS. Yippee. The rug I won in a bet with Rich had arrived. Here's the bet- my mom gave us two packages of paper products. Rich thought it was toilet paper and I said it was paper towel. It was paper towel because I remember my mom saying that she was giving it to us because she doesn't use paper towel. I would have remembered if she said she didn't use toilet paper. If I had lost he would have bought a Kindle and if I won, I got to buy a rug for the dining room. I won. I need to bet more often.
Here's the rug, excuse me, the new choo-choo train for the dining room or what the kids think is their new play room. Oh that's right, no pictures.
Then we played outside and the girls pushed around shopping carts with purses filled with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger while Beckett was super busy with chalk and his lawn mower. He is one busy little guy. Always moving trucks and diggers and towing things. Just watching Beckett can make you laugh. When he is drawing or playing with Play-Doh his makes something, then tells you what it is and then laughs at at it. Every time. He usually makes a T-Rex, hippo, turtle, camel or the moon. All of them crack him up. The other day I asked him what he thought hippos ate and he said, "kitty cats" and then laughed so hard he fell on the floor. Beckett is really into playing football now. Actually just posing like a ninja, throwing the football, falling on it, laughing and starting all over again. The ninja poses are pretty incredible. I even have a naked one. I'll show you sometime.
The kids have been really into singing Happy Birthday and talking about cake and blowing out candles, the whole shebang. We had our neighbor Chloe over for cupcakes today since she just turned 3. The kids were so excited for her to come over and were singing Happy Birthday repeatedly and talking about Chloe this and Chloe that and the minute she got here, they did not sing one note and Addy hid by me and wouldn't play with her. I have this amazing picture of Addy and Chloe sitting eating cupcakes. Addy with her curls and Chloe with her stunning red hair- the picture looks it should be for hair products. Funny, they are so outgoing and gregarious around me but once you throw others into the picture they can get really shy, especially Addy. Just means that we have to get out more.
We had a play date with the Kukowski triplets who are two days older than ours a few weeks ago to frost cookies. I was going to post the pictures but it now turns out that I'm not able to post any pictures at all on Blogger. Great. Anyway, the other 3 did a great job at frosting cookies and my 3 lasted about 5 seconds before jumping down to play with toys. Oh, and Jack, the boy, thinks I look like Jennifer Lopez. They were at Kohl's and there was a big cut out of JLo and Jack said, "Kate!" Love you Jack. Nothing like getting confidence about your appearance from a 2 year old.
Since I can't post any pictures, I thought I would leave you with this gem of Addy on the potty from a while ago. Sorry if I posted it before but if so, it is so good it deserves a second look. The title is- Hygiene is Taught.
Monday, October 24, 2011
You can kind of make out the cool front door and total 1950's spotlight in the front hall. If you look real close you can see that white thing on the wall? The thermostat? Guess that was more important than wallpaper, lighting, rugs and art work. If you remember, we had to dig up an oil tank in the front yard and remove the wonderful landscaping in the process, have a natural gas line run to the house, and put in a new furnace. So that is my decorating right there. A little white box on the wall. I am able to change the backlighting on the display and the font so it matches the wallpaper.
What do you think? Black with yellow display?
I did some recent work to the dining room. Like get rid of all the furniture so here it is...Cozy Coupe Central.
Notice all three kids are on their walkie-talkies? They are calling each other. The person in the fire truck is very popular because the police cars are always calling the fire truck.
And apparently the dining room is now a gas station because they are always worried about the gas tank and here Eloise is in the dining room trying to jam leaves into the tank.
I had to shut down the neighborhood watch party in the dining room and move the meeting to the play room because they thought it was fun to run into the walls.
Okay, here is a project from the weekend. I have to say that this was not a project either Rich nor I were capable of without help. So this was courtesy of Sarah's husband Jim- new mailbox and house numbers.
Look at this bad boy. A rusty heart mailbox. Enough said.
Here are the house numbers. See that "string" coming from the back? Had I done this project alone I would have got some scissors and cut the string not understanding why they were attached to the brick. Then I would have been electrocuted. They were live wires because this beauty once lit up.
And the after...
Thanks Sarah, Jim and Oliver for your help. I would have tried to glue the numbers to the house once I figured out that with my drill and my piddly weak arms that I was not going to be able to drill into brick. Love, love, love it.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I would have posted this sooner but 48 hours in the past week were spent in a flu coma in which I consumed only crackers and slept like 20 hours a day. Therefore, I felt like a grizzly bear coming out of hibernation, starving and ready to tackle the loads of laundry and mass chaos that ensues when I'm out of commission for more than a few hours. I have to say that Rich did a wonderful job with the kids keeping them away from me and my germs and keeping them entertained for almost 2 full days while I slept upstairs. There were times when I was a little concerned about the massive amount of scraping and crashes coming from downstairs. But since they weren't followed by wailing, I figured it was fine. Turned out that Beckett has been into making piles of toys and forts and moved every single toy (large and small) from the playroom into the empty dining room to make a fort. I almost died, or barfed in my case, when I came down to see the destruction. But, Rich put it all back and cleaned the kitchen and even went to the store to get me crackers and 7-up. So sweet.
He walked with them over to Alterra for lunch on Tuesday and I watched them walk down the street and it just melted my heart. I never really see the whole crew from afar because I'm always in the middle of it but it is really something to watch especially since they look so little next to Rich. Also, he had dressed everyone so you should have seen the outfits between the heart pants, striped shirts, patterned sweaters, pink shoes...and that was just on Beckett. Just kidding. They were just wandering along, poking things with sticks and pointing at the sky and holding hands. It is pretty amazing when I have a chance to sit back and watch.
I'm getting all emotional because we had a major accident with Eloise on Monday. She was running and fell and hit her nose between the eyes on the edge of a bench. I saw it happen and when she lifted her head up, blood was squirting out like a foot. I jumped up, grabbed her with my hand over the wound to stop the bleeding and ran into the kitchen and grabbed a towel to put pressure. The weird thing is that I kind of went into nurse mode. Sounds cold but honestly it was one of those times that I'm not even sure I could hear her crying, all I could think was to stop the bleeding. And the reason I thought that was because the blood was pulsating out in intervals like you would see with an artery. I had a moment of perplexity when I was looking at her with blood pumping out between her eyes and I thought "That's weird, why is it pulsating? There are no major arteries there." Knowing how serious it is cut an artery I was panicked about stopping the bleeding- with a dirty dishtowel.
You have no sense of time in these situations but all I know is every time I tried it take my hand off her head so I could dial the phone to call someone, it started to bleed again. That is when I freaked out a little bit. Not only could I not stop the bleeding, I couldn't call anyone AND Addy and Beckett were watching the whole thing and they were screaming hysterically as well. Finally I got it stop enough to call Bambi to see if she could come over to watch the other two while I took Eloise to the ED. I don't even remember what I said but I must have sounded freaked out because we were only on the phone for a few seconds and she rushed over. BTW- Rich was in Chicago and had taken the train so that is why I called Bambi first.
Luckily, this happened while we had our neighbors over for a play date so their dad, Krystoff, was helping to keep the other two calm and offered to take Addy and Beckett to their house until Bambi got there and helped me to figure out to turn on the TV for distraction.
I realized that I needed to just take a breath and assess the situation. I couldn't drive Eloise myself because she was bleeding too much and I couldn't really figure out if it was coming from more places other than the divot in her nose. And I didn't want to risk driving her myself if she was bleeding from her mouth and could possibly choke. I think I was talking out loud wondering if I needed to call am ambulance. I know at one point I said, "I feel like I'm going to puke." So I just waited, holding pressure on her nose and rocking her back and forth until Bambi got there. Oh and I thought to give her Motrin for the pain.
I can't imagine what it looked like walking into our house at that moment and I can't thank Bambi enough. It must have been horrific. I ended up putting Eloise in the car and driving her myself. She had calmed down, stopped bleeding and was asking to "go, go, go." There are closer hospitals but I am a huge proponent that if it is not a life threatening emergency, go to the hospital that best suits your situation and for us, it was Children's which is about 20 minutes away. They are used to these situations, they have specialists, and as former ED nurse I can tell you that when you used to working primarily with adults, you are not always in tune to the special needs of kids or toddlers.
Eloise fell asleep on the way there which was good. I thought the bleeding had stopped but then started again while she was sleeping which looked just terrible but I knew she was fine so I kept driving. We finally got there, were taken into a room pretty quickly and then we waited. For maybe 1.5 hours. Once we were there I felt much better and wasn't too worked up over waiting. Eloise was surprisingly calm the whole time we were waiting. She really only got upset when I wouldn't let her have a drink. They were trying to figure out what to use for sedation and how soon prior she had anything to eat or drink was a concern. Funny thing is that Eloise kept asking for Beckett. They are not really apart very often so I think she was most concerned about where her siblings were. There was a little kid sized chair in the room and she kept wanting to sit on it and then would get up and point and say, "Beckett" probably knowing that Beckett would like to push it around the room. Every time she cried or got up to walk around it would start bleeding again. Like this.
I eventually got her lay down and watch tv which lasted about 5 minutes.
Finally they gave her oral Verseed for sedation and said that they would come back in 10 minutes. After about 7 minutes Eloise became what I like to call "the belligerent drunk." She was drowsy but irritated so all she wanted to do was sit on the little chair. But she couldn't sit up without tipping over and every time I tried to steady her she would shake her hand and say, "No Mama, No Mama." Except it was more like, "looow, naaaaanaaaaaaa...., looooooow" with her eyes half closed.
They preferred not to tie her down so they had a child life specialist there whose sole responsibility was to entertain Eloise while myself and one more nurse held her down. I probably would not do that again. I was super nauseous which is pretty uncharacteristic of me. One Popsicle and 5 stitches later it was done. That's why we went to Children's- the child life specialist. She was so much better than me at calming and distracting Eloise. She had a whole arsenal of Popsicles, books, stickers, whirly toys, things that light up- you name it. She also helped me pry away the filthy lovey that Eloise was holding through the whole ordeal and put it in a biohazard bag. See why...
Eloise was still groggy and wobbly once we got home and couldn't walk although she thought she could. Finally after seeing her Daddy and reading a book, the little thing fell asleep.
24 hours later...
48 hours later...
72 hours later... She probably looked the worst this day with the swelling and black eyes.
5 days later playing in the leaves.
Tonight (6 days later) helping me make pizza.
She is going to have a pretty good scar but I've already gotten some good tips from friends about helping to heal and minimize scarring. Eloise seems to be pretty much back to normal with a few exceptions- she was sucking on her lovey much more this week than normal so you can see her chin is raw and red and she is having a hard time getting to sleep at night. Whenever something big happens or something changes it always takes Eloise a few weeks to recover from it and this is certainly not an exception. Last night I don't think she went to bed until 10:30 (they go down at 7:30) and screamed and cried every time I left the room. So, it has been a long week for everyone. When this all happened on Monday I was concerned about Addy and Beckett being traumatized too from the whole scene but they can talk about the blood without being scared and know that Eloise is hurt on her nose. But now Addy wants to go to the hospital too. I keep telling her that she was at the hospital when she was a little baby. When I ask her why she was at the hospital as a baby she says, "Tiny, tiny, tiny." Yep, they were tiny little munchkins. Still are.
I was going to call this post "The belligerent drunk" but that doesn't really sum it all up. I always thought I had a stomach of steel when it comes to blood but I almost lost it a few times on Monday. I don't know how many times I've held down someone else's child for stitches but it is a whole different story when it is your own child. Then on Friday I got a tour of the center where Eloise will be starting her in-class therapy 2 days a week. When I saw the classrooms and the toys and the activity and the kids I was excited for her and sad that my other two were not going to be going as well because they would love it. Eloise is not going to love it at first. But I'm hoping that she will grow to love it and will be a positive learning environment for her.
When they explained to me that the first day I will be dropping her off at the front door and leaving I almost started to cry. I can't imagine how terrified she will be. This will be all new to her. New place, new people, no siblings, no parents. All for the child with severe separation anxiety. I know she will be clinging to me and they will have to pry her out of my arms. I'm broken hearted just thinking about it. But she's tough. She's a lot tougher than I give her credit for. On the 31st, her first day in class, I hope she will be a lot tougher than me.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I have a major announcement...
Bet you thought I was going to say all three are trained. Nope. Still just Addy. Thanks to the ruthless bidding skills of my mom and the generosity of her employer Kimberly-Clark (you know the maker of such things as Kotex, Kleenex and most importantly HUGGIES) we never have to buy another diaper again. Ever. Look what is sitting in our dining room...
As one of the many fundraisers for this year's campaign, Kimberly-Clark donated a ton of diapers for employees to bid on with all proceeds going to United Way. I think we got 1300-1400 diapers plus wipes. And the good kind too. If you ever have a chance or an extra few $$ in your pocket, try the Huggies Pure & Natural. They are our favorite. Super almost cotton cloth-like soft, unscented and sweet little pictures of the Pooh characters. (On a side note, while having Pooh on the diapers makes it enticing for the kids to put on, it does add an element of confusion with Pooh obsessed children like Eloise once the diaper is on if they actually have poo in the diaper or are remembering that Pooh is on the diaper.)
So this is it. Once these are gone they are gone and it is potty-city from that point forward. You hear that Eloise and Beckett? I'm giving fair warning.
BTW- Addy doesn't even need diapers at nap (haha, like she naps) or bedtime anymore. She wakes up in the morning dry.
One more thing. Yes, our dining room is empty with no furniture. I'm selling our old furniture which was probably the least kid friendly furniture we could own and are getting some new old-beat-up-purposefully dining room furniture that we can use on a daily basis if we wanted. So after that, I'll post before and after pictures of our fixer-upper. The fixing up is going to go on for several years so I guess I can't keep people in suspense that long. That's not called building suspense it's called losing interest.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
The day did not start off well because once they knew we were going to the Zoo then Eloise started to whine and didn't stop until say an hour later until we got in the car to go. Since we go to the Zoo pretty frequently and frequently I am by myself I have a very specific route I take to try to avoid the big hills and to hit all the highlights in a short period of time. The first stop (after a potty break for Miss Addy) is always the farm to feed the goats. The kids love to talk about feeding the goats but ever since Beckett's hand was nearly swallowed by a goat they have all been pretty timid. Eloise was wild all the way to the farm area yelling and whining about the goats and then...the goats were not out.
My heart sank a little but I figured distract, distract, distract and we already had tickets to feed the giraffes in 15 minutes I thought it would be fine between the playground and the elephants.
I was so wrong. Eloise whined and pointed and kicked and whined some more. We were told not to make loud noises while feeding the giraffe and she was causing such a ruckus I fully expected to be escorted behind the yellow rope away from the feeding. Luckily my mom was there and was so incredibly patient. I hate to say it but I think at one point I was threatening to feed her to the giraffes. It was an empty threat because giraffes are vegetarians and only eat tree branches and Rye Crisps as far as I could tell.
I've always said that my favorite animals start with the letter P. Pugs, pigs, and penguins are my animals of choice right now. But oh, those eyes, those lashes, that long black-blue tongue. Giraffes may have reached right up into the top spot after seeing them this close.
My mom and Beckett feeding. Well, my mom at least. Beckett's safe place is in the choo-choo wagon so after about 2 minutes he was yelling- Choo-choo!!!!
I don't think I was following protocol with my method of putting the cracker right in his mouth. I think I was supposed to let him lick it off my hand. Oh well, they don't bite, you just can't turn your back on them because their head weighs between 60-80 lbs and they can hit you with it. Notice Eloise can't even look at the giraffe? Poor thing could only point in the general direction of the goats and cry.
Guess who is on the other end of that lick? .
Rich and Addy. Addy didn't mind the giraffe too much but it certainly wasn't the big hit I thought it was going to be. Oh it was a big hit after we got home and now we talk about feeding the goats and the giraffes but at the time- not so much.
After the giraffe fiasco I couldn't take it anymore and said that had to head back to the goats and if the goats were still not out, we were just going to have to go home. Of course on the way back Eloise didn't want to ride, she wanted to either push or pull the choo-choo which just prolonged the crying. Can you tell I'm at my breaking point?
Ahh- at last!!!!!
This time she insisted on me feeding the goats while I held her. That's progress. Usually she will not go inside the gate.
Hi little fella. Please know that you are extremely loved.
For those moms with more than one kid out there- have you ever noticed that when one child is incredibly challenging it seems that the others just seem to be on their best behavior?
Or maybe it just seems that way. Either way, Beckett and Addy just soaked up every minute of the Zoo. Normally the kids are a little scared of the cows but today they seemed to enjoy them. I think Eloise was even ticked off she couldn't pet them. I'm not sure what was going on because I was totally enthralled with the cow that was in labor. She was in a separate pen and it indicated she was pregnant and she was due the following day. The vet said they thought she was in labor and that they thought she would probably give birth that day. She gives birth right there in the pen for visitors to see. Oh man, what amazing luck it would have been to have seen that. My mom grew up on a dairy farm and said it is just a total mess. I'm sure the kids would have freaked out but I love that stuff. The grosser the better.
Here she is all smiles and wandering away from the farm with not a care in the world now that she saw her precious goats and cows. What are the giraffes Eloise? Chopped liver??
Oh yea, and the kids always tell me the Zoo stinks. Eloise was walking plugging her nose. Yep, it stinks. That's life little one.
I'm not telling this whole whining Zoo story for pity because believe me, I've thrown myself quite a few pity parties this week. I'm telling it prove a point. Eloise is extremely rigid and is unable to shift focus. She is sensitive to smells and loud noises and transitions. She doesn't like change in routine or a change to what she was expecting to happen. Don't get me wrong, she is the sweetest, most wonderful little girl which is why we frequently call her "little doll" but when she does not get her way or she gets mad, watch out because she is incredibly strong willed and physically strong so if there ever is a toddler throw down at the park, you better hope she is on your side.
It is not really fair to compare the 3 kids but sometimes I can't help it. I was getting worried that sometimes her reaction to things was a little out of ordinary and she was much more sensitive to certain things than the other two. After a month of speech therapy and talking over some things with our pediatrician we decided that an occupational therapy evaluation was needed which happened earlier this week.
It was determined that Eloise has sensory integration disorder (SID) or sometimes called sensory processing disorder. Basically she does not process sensory information the same way most people do. It is like she is not able to organize, process or integrate sensory information and it gets in a traffic jam in her head. I don't really understand it and this is certainly the case where going to the internet is probably more harmful than helpful. It seems to be very complicated and the severity and scope can be so very different for each child so we are just going to have to wait and see how things go as she starts therapy.
They gave me a one page (really, one page) handout with some recommendations for books and we have started some therapy at home. From what I understand we need to start to figure out her triggers and gradually try to desensitize or introduce her triggers to help her figure out a way to process the information in a manageable way.
For example, she is petrified of loud noises like the blender or vacuum or hair dryer- hence I can only blow dry my hair when the kids are sound asleep. The other day I had made tomato sauce from some tomatoes from our neighbor lady, Kit (just love her name), and I had cooked them down and put them in the blender jar in fridge with the plan to puree them after the kids went to sleep. I opened the fridge to get something out and Eloise saw the blender jar and started to scream and point and say, No! No! No! Now, this is where the pity party comes in. We need to do things like leave the blender on the counter so she can figure out how to deal with it then eventually have her push the button the blender using noise cancelling headphones. All the while she will be crying. Thus the pity party. I'm already at my breaking point with the whining and now we are just going to add to it. But I'm hopeful that once we have a better understanding of Eloise's needs that we can start to address them and make everyone much happier.
Sorry if I'm totally butchering the concept of sensory integration disorder to anyone who knows more about this than I do! I have yet to even read the one page handout in depth because I'm still pretty freaked out. I'm worried about what this means for her short term and long term not to mention the few weeks leading up to this evaluation were incredibly challenging so I was not in a good place to accept this news. Well, I was freaked out until I got a few emails from some of my fellow triplet moms who have been dealt with this to varying degrees. Below is an excerpt from one of the emails-
In time she will get better, that is, you and she will learn how to get along with SID. Now it sounds like a verdict. In a couple of years it will just be SID and your daughter will be, just that, your daughter (on who someone once put a sticky that is long lost).
Thank you to all of my fellow triplet moms for your insight and support. She's my daughter that needs our help, understanding, patience and love.
Pity party over.