Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why They're All My Favorite

Maybe the title should have been "It's Impossible to Have a Favorite"???  Either way, someone asked me the other day "Do you have a favorite?"  This question came after a long line of standard questions I get when people notice I have twins.  I just looked at the lady for a minute because I was sort of stunned by the question.  How can I have a favorite?  They're all so unique and fun it is truly impossible to have a favorite.  (Is there any Mom out there that could have a favorite???)

Matthew is my favorite because he comes up to me in the morning when I'm leaving for work and says "bye-bye, Mama.  Kisses! Kisses! Kisses!" while reaching up to me.  He also likes to be cozy on the couch before bedtime with his blankies.

Claire is my favorite because she looks out for everyone else.  If I'm handing out milk and a snack, she'll take her pink cup and say "Matthew, green one" and take his and hand it to him.  When she takes the snack from me, she'll say "Matthew have some, too" or "Mama have some, too".  She also likes to hand the baby her blankie.

Cate is my favorite because she's so easy-going.  She's such a trooper if we go somewhere.  She'll just look around and smile at everything.  She can also already sit up by herself, pick up a toy by herself and pass a toy from one hand to another.

And that's why they're all my favorite.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cate Now Has Teeth, Getting Stuck in A Kiddie Habitrail & Other Weekend Fun

We had a pretty low-key weekend since Jeremy had to work most of it.  Jeremy worked Friday night and Saturday night and since it's not really feasible to do an outing with 3 kids without him, we mostly hung around the house.  Friday night the kids and I stayed in and read books.  Saturday we took a quick family trip to the YMCA so that Jeremy and I could work out and the kids could play.  They love it there!  There are new toys to explore and they even let them roam free with crayons (which is a major no-no in our house, crayons, playdoh and anything else that I deem too hazardous is reserved for the kitchen table).  Saturday afternoon I had scheduled a family photo with a photographer near our house.  Epic Fail!  It seems every family has a collective photo, but as of yet, we have not managed this feat.  I (sort of) coordinated outfits, I made sure the kids took naps, they had a snack and they were very happy when we left the house and during the car ride.  When we got there, major meltdown!  Claire was fairly cooperative, Cate was her usually easy-going self, but Matthew? No way.  He wanted to push every button, play with the cords to the equipment and run around like a nut.  Which, subsequently, rubbed off on Claire who started running around with him.  The photographer may have managed to get one decent shot (Matthew's juice cup may be in the photo, too, but I'll take anything at this point).  As you might have guessed, this is not our first attempt at a family photo.  So, as long as we were there, I had the photographer take some photos of Cate since she'll be 6 months soon and it will save me a trip.  The photographer should call in a couple days and let me know when I can look at the proofs and see if there was any success.  After that ordeal, we just stayed home Saturday night.

On Sunday, Jeremy came home exhausted and wanted to go to bed.  It just so happened, that one of my friends from HVPOM (our Multiples group) suggested a playdate with some of the other Multiples families at Jungle Java.  I thought this was the perfect opportunity for the kids and I to get out of the house for the morning and let Jeremy sleep.  Jungle Java was a great idea!  The kids loved climbing in the Habitrail and I got to catch up with some of my friends.  At first, the kids wanted to check out the Habitrail, but didn't want to go up into it alone.  So, I put Cate in the backpack carrier and we went up with them.  I kept thinking I was going to get stuck climbing after them.  Trying to navigate the maze was tricky with two 2-year-olds and a baby strapped to you but we managed.  Getting them out was probably the greatest feat of the day.  I finally just found a slide and coaxed them into it so they would slide down to the floor and then Cate and I slid out, too.  In the future, this is probably an activity I will need to take another adult to, or find a sitter for Cate.  The kids were pretty tired out afterwards so we headed back home.  The kids all napped on the way back, Jeremy got a good nap and even went with us to Meijer after. 

Some weekend highlights: 
We were going through Meijer and Claire wanted to hold something so I gave her the cream cheese.  She pointed to the lid where it said Meijer and said "Meijer".  What did you say? I asked her, and she pointed to it again and said "Meijer".  I think we go to Meijer too much if she recognizes the brand name.  Hey, at least she didn't say McDonald's!

Matthew has started asking "What's that?" and "What's this?"  When you answer him, he will repeat the name.  Very cute!

Cate has two teeth on the bottom!  I thought she was teething and finally one tooth popped through on Friday and the other one on Sunday.

I'll have to post photos of Cate's teeth later if I can get her to move her tongue out of the way ;)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why Bedtime is a Challenge!

To give you a brief background: all three kids have their own room, I split the twins up when they were about a year old because they were waking each other up and just having too much fun overall when they were supposed to be sleeping (resulting in not enough sleep for me).  Splitting them up may have been motivated by pure selfishness, but when you have to go to work after zero sleep it starts to get old.  The twins have been pretty good at going to bed.  Both for naps and bedtime, there is limited crabbing and fussing.  They only ever get upset if there is really something wrong such as an earache or I forget to turn on their nightlight.  Their great sleep pattern is not by accident, however.  Jeremy and I have had to work pretty hard to get them to go to bed and stay asleep.  *As a side note: I am writing this post so that I can look back later and see (hopefully) how our sleep situation has improved ;)

Our bedtime woes started a couple weeks ago when Cate turned 5 months old and Claire escaped from her crib.  Yes, my two-year-olds are still in cribs.  At least they were until this incident.  I put Matthew & Claire up for their daily nap at their normal nap time (Jeremy was at work) and proceeded to complete my nap time chores which include laundry, closet straightening and picking up the toy room (or any other tasks that don't make too much noise).  I was just about to head upstairs with a load of clothes when I heard a little voice that seemed to be getting closer and closer.  I looked toward the stairs and here was Claire (much to her delight, by the way).  She had obviously figured out how to climb over the side of her crib, open her bedroom door, close the door behind her, and descend the staircase.  Sigh.  So I put her back upstairs in her crib, but no dice.  Needless to say, naps were over for that day (Matthew could hear her laughing and playing so he wanted out, too). 

The rest of the day we spent upstairs.  Cate hung out in her bouncy seat, the twins played with all their upstairs toys and I went to work.  I disassembled their cribs and turned them into toddler beds, changed all the sheets, put plugs in all the outlets, turned dressers around backwards, cleaned out closets and made sure there were no other hazards.  I still need to go back and anchor the dressers to the walls so they can face forward again, but the anchors aren't sold in stores and are currently on-order.  

That night went very well.  I placed a gate outside each of their bedroom doors, placed them in their new beds and they were out like little lights.  The next three days went surprisingly well, too!  Naps were pretty decent, bedtime went well, etc, etc.  But then, they started the door slamming, not sleeping, running around, playing, and trying to escape.  I guess the trend couldn't last forever.  Claire tested the situation for a couple days and gave up, now it's Matthew's turn to test the boundaries.  Look for updates (hopefully positive ones).

When we brought Cate home from the hospital, I decided the way our household would get the most sleep is for me to sleep in Cate's room on a spare twin bed we have.  Well, it turns out this has worked great for everyone in the house.  Except me.  Jeremy gets a full nights sleep, the twins are undisturbed, Cate seems to enjoy having me right there at her beck and call.  Since Cate is now 5 months old, I decided it was time for her to sleep in her crib, on her own, all night.  She still gets up 2 to 3 times a night, I stumble through the dark into her room to feed her and then she goes back to sleep, so it's a work in progress. 

Here's to the next week of potential sleep!  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fire Station Santa (Actual Date was December 12)

So of course, the one event I really wanted the kids to attend and enjoy this year would fall on the day of the worst storm of the year!  We got a ton of snow and the plow/salt trucks couldn’t keep up.  I was determined not to let a little storm get in the way of our fun so we headed out into the snow storm (not one of my brighter moments).  Well, it turns out that our driveway was a sheet of ice and that combined with the fact that the van had BALD tires meant we were not going to get up the incline.  I tried a couple times and finally decided that backing up out of the drive was a better idea, however, when I went to turn around I got stuck.  In the lawn.  Yep, the lawn.  How did I get in the lawn? I have no idea.  So, I thought for a minute and remembered that I had purchased play sand for the kids’ sandbox and never filled it.  Brilliant!  I’ll put it under the tires!  So I grabbed the bag of sand and dragged it over to the van, I was just about to pour some under the front tires when I slipped and fell.  In the snow.  And the sand.  So now, I’m angry, wet, cold and muddy.  Great.  But, on the up-side.  It worked!  I was able to get some traction and make it out into the street.  (Mental note:  first thing Monday AM = 4 new tires).  It took us about an hour to get to station 5 (normally only takes about 25 minutes), but we made it and we made it in time to see The Big Guy ride in on the fire truck!  Every year Jeremy's Fire Station puts on a small Christmas party for all the firefighters' kids.  Santa rides in on the truck, the kids sit on his lap, everyone has pizza, tons of fun!!!  The kids really thought the fire truck was great and enjoyed their gifts from Santa.  Matthew got a new Thomas the Train that goes by itself.  Claire got a Frosty the Snowman doll that talks (she watched the cartoon at my Mom’s house and loved it, she can pretty much sing most of the song!).  And Cate got a stuffed bear.  Claire managed to sit on Santa’s lap, Matthew did just long enough to get his gift and Cate (a trooper as usual) also let Santa hold her.  Claire was a riot, she kept trying to go up to Santa during everyone else’s turn and when the first kid got his present and then went back to his seat, she went by him very nonchalant and peeked into his bag to see what he got. 
Claire and Heidi waiting for pizza

Matthew enjoying his pizza

Claire was in awe of the Christmas tree

Claire and Heidi checking out the presents

Yep, still eating pizza!

Claire and Daddy waiting for Santa

Matthew getting a view from Mama's shoulders


Claire (patiently) waiting her turn

Claire's turn!

She loved the Frosty the Snowman bag

Cate loves Santa!

Ok, I'll sit for just a second.

Well, maybe not.

Just long enough to get the present...

Claire with Frosty!

New toys

Matthew and his new train!

Another attempt at a group shot.

Claire went up for a second turn!

Day of Christmas Parties! (Actually from Dec 4th)

Saturday was a party day for us!  We had a Holiday Party with HVPOM in the morning.  The kids sang Christmas Carols and got to meet Santa!  They loved the singing party, there was a lady playing the guitar that handed out jingle bells for them to ring.  Claire talked about the “jingy bells” for days!  Santa read them a story and all the kids (except mine) sat quietly and listened.  Matthew & Claire danced around in circles so hopefully they weren’t too disruptive…  They would quite sit on Santa’s lap but stood reasonably close to them and Susie was able to snap a picture for me.

We went to my friend Jenny’s family Santa Barn in the afternoon.  Jenny’s Aunt and Uncle put on Santa Barn every year and give all the donations to a worthy cause.  There was a fire truck ride and real reindeer.  We again attempted a photo with Santa (I’ll have another post about that).  My friend Nichole suggested we each place a twin on Santa’s lap backwards so they don’t actually see his face, then snap the photo quickly.  It sort of worked…

We wrapped up the day at Ciara’s second birthday party.  The kids had a great time playing with their friends and kept it together even though they really didn’t take naps that whole day.  The kids loved the piñata!  They were running around scooping up the candy (how do they even know what it is???) Someone had unwrapped a sucker for Claire and she was happy as could be, so I let Matthew try a piece of chocolate!  Unfortunately, I didn’t get many photos at Ciara’s party since I was busy baby-wrangling most of the evening!  Matthew was a little bit upset at the party because there were lots of people there that he didn’t know, but all in all it was a good day.


Holiday Happenings

December was a very busy month for us.  The twins turned 2 on December 16th (blog post on that to follow), I turned 30 (yikes!) on December 16th and Jeremy turned 31 (yep, he's still older than me) on December 19th.  Jeremy threw me a surprise party, we hosted a b-day party for the twins, we attended the Union Christmas party on December 17th, a suprise 30th bday party for our friend Don on the 10th, whew!  Also, my girlfriend Susie and her husband Brian had their twins on December 7th.  Jeremy and I got to go up to the hospital and see them.  They're so cute and tiny!  I can't believe the difference between then and now with our twins.  Here are a few other miscellaneous activities we have done (some with photos) over the last month:
The kids, my Mom and I took a visit to see Aunt Cathy at work.  Her store was decorated with lots of fun Christmas things and the kids loved it!  We took some photos with the décor and tried not to break anything ;)

We went to the Milford Holiday Parade.  It was super cold so we didn’t stay too long but the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Cate all bundled up!

Claire loved this giant dog!

Checking out the horse in the parade.

Matthew didn't love the giant dog!

We went to Great Lakes Crossing to take a photo with Santa (epic failure!).  We took some photos with the holiday display.
Cate was the only one in the photo with Santa, the twins were not amused!

We took some photos with our Christmas tree, too!