Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Friday, January 20, 2012

Christmas 2011

Exactly one month late. I would have posted sooner but I'm not loving blogger right now. Half the pictures I try to load must be too big so it stops my computer. This is the 3rd night I've been working this and getting so mad that all the ice cream, salt n' vinegar chips and cookies are now gone.
I forgot we went to a classic Milwaukee tradition that we plan to do every year. The M&I bank sets up this enormous Christmas scene with all of these antique Steiff stuffed animals. We went on a Saturday morning. Weird I know, going into a lobby of a bank on a Saturday for an utterly fantastic Christmas display. But, it was really spectacular and one of those things that the kids will look forward too and remember in a few years.

Santa's Workshop

Look at the detail in this lion.

Seriously, from what I can tell these stuffed animals are priceless and just beautiful.

So impressed with Eloise that she got so close to these animals, especially the ones that moved.

Oh dear. Eloise fell in.I was brushing all the "snow" off of her when a security guard came over and examined the indent, brushed it off a bit and then started to scan the room for the culprit. Really? I'm standing right in front of you with 3 toddlers, one of whom is covered in white glitter. What an excellent security guard for a bank.

On to the rest of the holiday festivities. On Christmas Eve day the presents started. My mom had an entire car full. No joke. Therefore, we had to start opening during the day.
Yeah! Art supplies and coloring books. With 3 kids, it is amazing how fast we go through a pack of construction paper.

And coloring books. I think Eloise colored on every page of her new Pooh coloring book in a few hours and it was done. Good thing Mimi had a whole car load of presents.

We spent Christmas Eve at my sister's house but as we were getting the kids dressed, Addy had a meltdown. I have no idea what about but this is where she wanted to sit because she was so mad. Ohhh you sure showed me. I'll just get my camera because it is funny.

In the corner of the dining room there was a children's photo op set up. Rocking chairs and teddy bears. We of course couldn't get all the kids together but they all posed individually.

I don't know what is going on here but look at the expression on these two. Think they are both dramatic. Umm, sense the sarcasm?

Also learned a valuable lesson about reading the "skill level ranking" on the side of toys. The skill level of this transformer is in the "make Daddy sweat and don't even give it to Mom." category. But boy oh boy did he like it.

This was the big present for the kids- Thomas the Train which we wanted to have set up when they came downstairs in the morning. I took us plus my brother with an engineering degree to set up all the sets of tracks on a round table.

What happened to our tree?? Santa came!

And he brought Thomas! He should have brought a hair brush and some detangler for Eloise. She's not a restless sleeper at all.

Every time I would ask Addy what she wanted she would say, "Umm, baby dolls." If I asked her what she wanted from Santa? From Daddy? From Mimi? She would say, "Baby dolls." Now if I ask her how she wants her room decorated she says, "Baby dolls." She got her wish- for Christmas that is. Still trying to figure out how to decorate a room in a baby doll theme.

All of the kids got their first BARBIE including Beckett. Ken has changed a lot since my Barbie days when the Ken doll was missing a leg and really a girl with a haircut.

Here are the kids opening their presents from our friends Clarke and Lisa in TX.

I've been scanning the pictures if I can see who opened what because Beckett is just adamant that the reindeer plate is HIS and no girl germs.

Guess he got a pretty good look at what he opened. I'm just going to assume he is right and let him have the reindeer plate.

At one point Addy was just grabbing presents and opening whatever she could as fast as she could. We just let her but it was a bit of a struggle to wrestle away this little sparkly thing from her. Like mother like daughter. She likes the shine.

This is from the day after Christmas and this is pretty much what Beckett has looked like ever since. Obsessed with Thomas. And Percy. And "towing" things.

Can I just say that Beckett and Eloise are obsessed with Thomas the Train and T Rex. The kids have been in bed (I use that term loosely these days) for 2 hours and I can hear Eloise saying, "I T Rex, I T Rex" and I'm guessing she is stomping around her room pretending to be a T Rex. Someone was a total genius when they came up with the show Dinosaur Train. Trains and T Rex? Pure genius.
So what is on board for us in the next few days. Let's see...
-Still struggling with the kids at bed time. It's a really hard way to end a day.
-Baby dolls, baby dolls, baby dolls.
-I seriously need a makeover/spa day. When your boss says it is time to get a eye brow wax you know that you have taken the term "letting yourself go" to a whole new level. It's rather impressive if I do say so myself.
-Just to clarify, I do not like cleaning. I like a clean house. Since we bought a house without the self cleaning floors, I have to clean. A lot. I don't like it.
-It is 2 hours and 15 minutes after I put the kids to bed and Addy is yelling for noodles. That's my cue to go to bed.

Look at this girl. Loves the panties. The other day Bambi brought her and Beckett some panties and at one point she had on 7 pairs.

Hopefully that love of panties will continue this weekend as the plan at this point it to potty train Eloise and get some reminders in for Addy as well- who happens to have regressed and refuses to wear panties- only Pull-ups.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bittersweet- another transition

The last 6 or 7 weeks have just been miserable at bed time. As I mentioned last week, Beckett is able to get in and out of the crib. As of a few days ago, Addy figured it out as well. No, not this sweet little innocent thing.

Add that on top of not napping, hoarding items in their cribs, fighting over has been more than miserable. Eloise is certainly not innocent in all of this. When she gets something stuck in her head like for example that she wants one of us to sleep on the floor in the room, she will yell and scream for what seems like HOURS until it happens. Some nights we just give in. Some nights Beckett ends up in bed with us. Some nights it is Eloise. BTW, she was on the verge of getting out as well as I figured out the other night.

We have been trying to do a few nights one person is "on" the whole night so the other can get some sleep and the "off" person sleeps in the guest bedroom. It's been musical beds which is one thing I said I would not do. Also, somehow (umm, RICH) Bella sleeping on the bed again. I think every one needs their own space. I love snuggling with my kids but I need to sleep and I do it better with each child in their own bed. And the dog on the floor. Plus, until a few months ago, my bed was the only dog hair free place in the whole house. UGGG. Something had to change.

So yesterday after a totally horrendous nap time I had a discussion with Rich and set my master plan into action. It required some consulting with my triplet mom group here, a trip to Target, tons of moving furniture, multiple trips from the 2nd floor to the basement and now have gone from this...
(taken last night with the lights off!)

and this... (holy hoarding things in their cribs!)

(again, all the pictures were taken last night with the lights out)

and this...
-Super crowded room
And this...
-yes, that is what Addy's hair looks like in the morning. She requires more product than me.

And this...
-Beckett handing out hugs like they are free. Also, we've got to work on the lovie situation hanging out of Eloise's mouth. The other night they had fish for dinner when I was stuck at work and I swear Eloise ate a whole fish with the lovie still in her mouth. When I got home it smelled so bad I almost gagged and then I couldn't pry it out of her lock jaw mouth during the night to wash it. So gross. BTW, this is the last picture of the CRIBS!

TO THIS- now where our sweet Mr. Beckett is residing.

His own dinosaur filled room with a queen sized bed. Before he went to bed last night I asked him if he could have anything in his room, what would it be. He said, "T Rex." Dinosaurs it is. We turned the guest bedroom/office into Beckett's room. We only have 3 bedrooms and I was really dreading losing that extra space but it had to be done and he needed his own space. He was sleeping in the guest room sometimes because he wanted the door closed and the girls wanted it open and I think they were keeping him awake. We kept the queen bed already in there because there will be more bed shuffling if we have visitors. And as I type, Eloise and Beckett are sleeping in the bed together. I could throw Addy in there as well and there would be plenty of room. Plus my mom because she is usually the person in that bed. Look out mom, you have company.
Then for the girls I just took all the cribs out and put two mattresses on the floor. Our cribs actually convert to "toddler beds" and we could have just taken off one side but that is a pretty big fall. I could have bought a toddler rail for $60 each or a crib tent to keep them in ($60 each) or whole new toddler beds $100+ but everyone from my multiples group basically said save your money and just put them in regular beds with the $20 rails and call it a day. So mattresses on the floor it is until I figure out what we are going to do in their bedroom.
So I was having a hard time keeping them in bed and sleeping and now I just let them do what they want? Yep. Kind of like that. I think for them, part of the challenge was just getting out of the crib and if they couldn't they would see something like a book and scream for it or throw stuff at each other. Now, they can do it all they want. Get it out of their system. Tire themselves out. And then hopefully they will figure out that being tired is no fun and eventually they will start to sleep again. At least that is my theory. Plus, it was not really safe all the getting in and out of the cribs. It was just a matter of time before someone took a nasty fall.
They also thought it was funny to get in and out as you can see.

See how fast this little turkey is? I could be downstairs and hear him running around and head up stairs and he could hear me and jump back in his crib with his eyes closed pretending to be sleeping by the time I got into the room.

You should have seen how excited Beckett was with his room. It was just the sweetest thing. He kept yelling and pointing "T REX!!" and jumping on his bed. I have a great video of Addy looking around his room saying, "WOW, WOW!!!!" I knew the first few days/weeks of this transition would be tough. Take a look of how nap time went today.

I know, Beckett is in their room. They all kind of played in their beds and around their beds for about 30 minutes and then started to wander further and further away and run back and forth. I had moved a few toys that were originally in their shared room into Beckett's room and once Eloise figured that out she started to haul stuff from Beckett's room into hers. Then Beckett must have realized that so he started to move things from the girls room into his that he thought was his. Just kind of went downhill from there.
Tonight it took Eloise about 2 minutes with the lights off before she took a big tumble out of bed and her head his the floor. Good thing we didn't go to the toddler beds. After 2 more falls in 15 minutes she was done with it. I rocked her for an hour and she still didn't fall asleep and didn't want to go back into her bed. I finally convinced her to with me next to her. Yes, the two of us on a crib mattress on the floor. That still didn't work and she was asking about Beckett. She wanted to sleep with him in his bed so I put her in with him (already sleeping) and she was sleeping in 5 minutes.
I'm sure it will be long couple of weeks but I'm hoping it will pay off because we just couldn't keep going like we were. It was frustrating and exhausting. I'm hoping that giving them a little independence and space will help and we will get back into a groove soon.
Guess I shouldn't speak too soon because next on the horizon is potty training for Eloise, physical therapy for Beckett staring tomorrow and possibly quite possibly Beckett will be starting school with Eloise as well. I'm hoping.
Speaking of that funny little guy he is totally obsessed with firemen and fire trucks along with dinosaurs. I'm hoping you can hear the sound on the video because that is what makes it worthwhile. Here's how Mr. Beckett puts out fires...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dear Supernanny- it's me, Kate.

I'm aware I haven't posted our Christmas pictures but holy cow have these kids gotten the best of me lately. Between the holiday activities, winding down from the holiday activities and just plain 3 two year olds by Monday I'm counting the minutes until I get to go to work.
Sounds terrible but I'm just plain worn out. It's primarily the whining and fighting. Oh yes, and then there is the fact that Beckett figured out how to get out of his crib and refuses stay in. Several times in the middle of the night I get woken up by a thump and then a pitter patter of little feet running into our room. Then there is a smiling little Beckett saying, "sleep Dada's bed." We are both so exhausted that we let him, then put him back in his crib at at some point he comes back. Then the girls each wake up during the night because they lost their blanket or lovie or whatever. I can't believe that when they were one, we got much more sleep than we do now.
As I'm typing this, it is 90 minutes after I have put them to bed and Eloise is still reading a book to herself (out loud), Beckett is playing with a garbage truck, and Addy is stripping naked all of the multiple baby dolls she has in her bed. They have all of that stuff in their bed because I'm trying to at least keep them quiet and Beckett in his crib. I think at some point we are going to bite the bullet and take everything out of their crib and let them scream. I'm just not up for it now because the whining during the day is almost too much to take.
I feel like my conversations all day long are of the following topics:

-encouraging and cajoling someone (usually Eloise) to apologize for something (usually hitting)
-asking someone to repeat what they said in a "regular voice" because I don't understand whining
-counting to three, as in "You have until the count of three to XXXX or I will XXXX."
-breaking up fights over toys
-No, you can NOT have a piece of candy
-chasing kids to get them dressed, undressed, coats on or shoes on and then counting to three when they don't cooperate
-either talking someone out of wearing panties or wearing diapers depending on the child
-if they don't lay down, stop talking and close their eyes I'm going to close the door, turn out the night light or some other very serious threat.

Have you noticed that I do a lot of threatening? I just don't know what else to do. I need the Supernanny.

Anyway, to top it all off, Eloise is probably ready to potty train so I thought we would give it a go today. Everyone I know with multiples does the "boot camp" method where you hunker down for three days, cover everything in plastic and stay around the house just potty training for three days. Everyone who does it says that it is the hardest thing they have ever done and although the results seem pretty good, I don't think that would work for us because Addy is already trained and Beckett isn't really showing too much interest so it would be a unnecessary miserable few days for at least two of the three. So rather than the boot camp method, I came up with my own method called the "Kate is tired and let's just see what happens method."
Eloise wanted to wear princess panties like Addy this morning so I said fine, she just had to go try to go pee in the potty first. She did and I put panties on her. That was about 8 am. Rich was taking the kids to the JCC so I could have a few hours to clean so I had her AND Addy go pee before. She did. I packed a few extra pairs of pants, undies, socks and shoes in the diaper bag with Rich and sent them on their way. I had a disaster of a house to deal with so I wasn't too concerned about a little pee on a gym floor that probably a million other kids had peed on. Had I been thinking clearly I would not have put on her good leather shoes because from experience I've learned that a good water drinker can soak a pair of shoes that take days to dry.
I was still cleaning like crazy and trying to finish up the vacuuming because they are all petrified of the vacuum when Rich pulled in the driveway. I started to head out the door to help and heard Eloise screaming, "Wet!! Wet!!" She was refusing to walk. Then I grabbed my camera.

That stubborn little thing absolutely refused to walk. Rich had to carry her in.

Notice she never put down the cookie in her hand?
Looking at these pictures again made me realize that I need to check the carseat. I'm sure I need to wash that too.
Once she got in the house, she took a few steps with totally straight legs. I almost fell over laughing. What about bending your legs is going to get you more wet? Anyway, she apparently wasn't too traumatized because she just wanted new pants and new panties. Fine. We ate lunch and I was trying to convince her to go potty before I put on her diaper before nap and I smelled something. I tried to look in her pants and she said, "No, daddy." Again, fine. Ohhh Rich- Eloise wants YOU to take her potty. Haha.
So that was not too successful. Oh well, I was planning on putting on pull ups on her tomorrow anyway because she has school tomorrow. Maybe I'll start the whole process again on Friday. I just don't want to make a big deal out of anything because a one certain Miss Addycakes picks up on ANYTHING that might just be slightly out of the ordinary and either repeats it or tries to do it "by myself."
She has picked up on the fact that she is the only one really one using the potty and they other two are wearing diapers. So now she wants to wear diapers all the time too and the scary thing is that she can put them on herself! She's figured out how to spread out the diaper on the ground, lay on top, wrap it around and pull the tape. Really?
On another note, we've had two play dates this past week with two other sets of triplets. Last Sunday we went to play with my friend Kristen's triplets who turned 2 in October. At one point, she was in the bathroom (with the door open of course) trying to change a poop diaper with the other two clamoring around her, poop fell out, poop got on clothes, one was trying to sit on the potty and interested in his parts while another one was on another potty and I was standing back laughing hysterically. Holy man, that is what I look like? It was so ridiculous to watch and even funnier thinking that I do that every day too. Don't worry, she was not offended. She would have been laughing at me too had the tables been turned. Perfect example of why my multiple groups have been so important to me.
We had another play date with my friend, Ann's triplets on Friday at our house this time. We take turns providing snacks, Starbucks and trashing each other's houses. Her daughter, Isla, is like my Addy. We call them the Alpha girls. Just so happened the Alphas were sitting next to each other watching over the other 4. I think that is a spray bottle in Isla's hand- hope no one gets out of line.

I had invited my sister Sarah, Oliver and the little girl that she baby sits for over for lunch the same day. We ended up all eating lunch together at my new table. Well, just the kids. There wasn't room enough at the table for the adults. 8 kids under 5 for an impromptu lunch.

I just noticed looking at the picture that none of the kids have a drink. Whoops, no one complained.
Ann is in the process of trying to figure out how to potty train her three as well so there was a lot of potty talk that day. Luckily Sarah has gone through it with Oliver so she had some good tips for the boys. Remember that I said Addy listens and remembers everything?
Yesterday I walked into the bathroom and Addy had pulled a stool up to the toilet and was standing facing the toilet with her pants around her ankles. She saw me and said, "Me pee standing up. Me pee standing up."
Help. I need help. I can't wait until Tuesday when I go back to work. Christmas post this week- I promise.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fish Fry Friday

Before we moved to WI, Rich made me promise 3 things:
1. Our basement could not become a collection of half done projects and collections of junk picked items.
2. He did not have to go to Farmer's Markets and rummage sales every weekend.
3. Friday night fish frys would be limited to once every 6 weeks.

Easy peasy. I have no idea where the every 6 weeks came from but I thought that was not too much to ask. Whoops. I already broke one rule. We went to Friday Night Fish Fry two weeks in a row with the most recent being the Friday before Christmas when everyone was together. Admittedly it is not the most nutritious meal but for the kids but holy cow is it entertaining. Polka dancing, bubble machines, kids running wild, an old lodge with a Christmas tree in the middle and reindeer sweaters? Classic Christmas in Wisco. Oh and Beckett has become quite the little dancer. Break dancer that is.
Probably learned his moves from Uncle Isaac who is breaking it down for Eloise and Oliver.

You call that dancing?

Check out this spin.

Beckett started the break polkaing trend for the toddlers because in no time all the kids were on the floor flipping and kicking.

Beckett was about to throw down and do the worm but the bubble machine and the Chicken Dance distracted all of them.

Look at the guy with the accordion. He's pretty sweet and plays every week.

Eloise with a height advantage.

One more shot of the move that started it all...

The Fish Fry kicked off an entire WEEK of activities that has convinced the kids that every day from now on they should wake up to presents, cookies, Mimis and a full day of entertainment. The weaning process for these high expectations is not easy. Does anyone else think that holidays are an exercise in endurance for parents? I'm exhausted. Still.

As for my other promises, I think I've been good to my word. I have not YET junk picked anything although I saw a chair this summer on the curb that I drove by about 10 times and had to convince myself to keep driving. I did buy 6 vintage wooden folding chairs at a rummage sale for $5 each that I'm going to refinish and are sitting in the basement. But I don't consider them junk since I saw the EXACT chairs being sold at a estate sale for $45 each. Not junk. And actually used for our dinner with 14 people at Christmas at my new dining room table. Our dining room is no longer a Cozy Coupe Firetruck and Police Car bumper car course much to the dismay of the kids. Pics to come.