Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Elephants Never Forget. And Neither Do Two-Year-Olds!

Claire has really been talking a lot lately and is amazing me with how much she notices around her.  It's hard to pull a fast one on her.  She seems to remember everything!  A few weeks back I was looking for the backpack carrier that I wear Cate around in when we go out sometimes and I couldn't find it.  I was telling Claire what I was looking for and that I needed it before we could get in the car to leave.  She must have been listening because yesterday when we were in the car she says "Mama's backpack for Cate, we have to find it".  She probably was wondering what what so funny when I started laughing. 

Yesterday we put apples outside in the backyard for the deer.  We have about 10 deer that frequent our yard and the kids like to watch them.  So, I took Matthew and Claire outside yesterday so they could put some apples out.   Matthew decided to take a few bites out of his apple before leaving it for the deer and Claire was very serious about the task.  Claire kept saying: "I feedin the deer apples!"  It wasn't very warm out and we're hoping spring will come soon so that we can play outside more.

Cate now has 3 teeth!  I need to post her 8 month old info and photos, maybe I can get to that later this week.  She has also said "Dada" which is her first official word!

Very serious about feeding the deer!

 The deer won't mind a few bites out of the apple.
 Racing up the hill!
Baby Cate got to come outside for just a minute.
 Being silly in the car.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grocery Sunday

Sunday was grocery day.  Jeremy was at work so the kids and I were going to navigate our local Meijer solo.  Here's an idea of how our morning went as we tried to get out the door:

7:00AM - I get up (everyone's still sleeping), quick shower and get dressed.  Get out the kids clothes & diapers.
7:25 - Wake up Cate
7:30 - Wake up twins
7:35 - Assemble everyone in the changing room downstairs and get everyone dressed
7:45 - Start breakfast for the twins, get them in the booster seats
7:50 - Make Cate's cereal and start feeding her.
8:00 - Everyone's done with breakfast, wipe hands, faces
8:05 - Turn on Mickey Mouse so I can make my grocery list and clean up the kitchen from breakfast
8:10 - Grab shoes, coats and hats so we can get ready for the store
8:15 - Coats on, Claire announces she has to go potty (we're not potty training yet, but I want to encourage her so I agree to let her try)
8:25 - Everyone has coats, hats and shoes on.  Now I can tell someone needs a diaper change.
8:26 - Find the culprit (Cate), change her and redress her
8:35 - Load everyone into the van, Matthew forgets blankie, has to run back in for it or suffer a meltdown
8:40 - I realize I'm not wearing any shoes, run back in to find my shoes and remember to lock the dog up
8:45 - Record time for getting out the door with all 3 solo!
8:50 - Part way to Meijer I realize I forgot all my coupons, oh well, the $10 isn't worth going back now.
9:00 - Arrive at Meijer, load all 3 kids in the stroller and find a cart.  (The Meijer carts only seat 2 kids max so we have to use the "push the stroller, pull a cart" method)
9:05 - Twins are asking for a cookie, I tell them they just had breakfast and we should wait awhile
9:10 - Matthew has dropped his blankie for the 8th time, since I'm tired of picking it up, I put it in the basket under the stroller and he proceeds to have a fit.
9:20 - We've made it through the produce, meat section and most of the aisle and have heard "You have your hands full" no less than 7 times.  I think to myself, if I hear that one more time I'm going to attack the next person that says it.
9:30 - Twins ask for a cookie again, I decide they've been good and oblidge.  Nilla Wafers.  They seem mostly satisfied. 
9:40 - Everyone's still keeping it together but I realize we are definitely on borrowed time.  Some unsuspecting person says "You've got your hands full"  I decide not to go ape on them because it would probably land me on the 10PM news and that would be the complete opposite of inconspicuous.
9:50 - We're approaching the check-stand, awesome, just a few more minutes and we've made it.  I'm pulling in to one of the open stands and out of nowhere some random lady jumps in front of my stroller and starts asking a MILLION questions.  In my head I'm screaming "Lady GET OUT OF THE WAY" but I just smile and nod.  In the meantime, another lady walks in front of us and starts using the check stand I was going for. UGH!!! In my head I'm saying "Lady, now look what you've done, of course you are oblivious to the delay you have just caused me and I don't care about how your brother's, sister-in-law's 3rd cousin once removed had a set of twins and you just never know how people handle it."  Instead, what comes out of my mouth is "ok, well, have a nice day" and try and steer around her.  Now we're waiting in line and the twins are getting restless. 
10:00 - Due to the delay caused by my new worst enemy, I'm now furiously scanning groceries as Matthew and Claire are starting to fight and Cate is now crying.  Who in their right mind would stop a lady with 3 kids just to talk?  I guess she didn't know any better.  Luckily I have most of the fruit and veggie codes memorized for the U-Scan so it goes a little quicker. 
10:10 - Bag all groceries and return to the car.  I load all the kids in first and quickly throw all the groceries and the stroller back in the van. 
10:30 - Back home, unload all the kids, get the twins some cheese and juice for a snack. 
10:35 - Feed Cate
10:45 - Unload all the groceries from the car and put them away (with some much appreciated help from the twins)
11:00 - Start laundry and proceed with the rest of our day. 

Here's a photo of how we "roll" in the grocery store taken from my iPhone.  I wanted to document our grocery experience now so I figured the 2 seconds it took to snap a photo was worth it.  I know it will get easier as they get older.  They really are patient in the grocery store and pretty well behaved (Thank you, Nilla Wafers)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Catching Up.

I've been super busy preparing for the upcoming sale that Huron Valley Parents of Multiples is hosting.  After the kids are in bed each night for the last couple weeks I've been sorting, organizing, tagging and labeling clothes and gear they've grown out of.  It's a big job but I'd like to sell some items so that I can purchase their clothes for the next season.  And if I make enough money, I have my eye on a new lens for my camera. 

So, blogging has taken a back seat to the sale project, as well as Operation: Get Cate to Sleep at Night.  Since Cate isn't a twin, I haven't been as diligent about sleep-training her as I was with her brother and sister and let's just say we'd fallen into some bad habits (I'll skip the details because I'd still like to be in the running for "Parent of the Year" - insert sarcasm ;) and the details would surely make that dream evaporate).  So anyway, it's been a few nights of sleep-training 101 and she seems to be on the straight-and-narrow.  I find it so hard to let my kids cry to sleep (as I'm sure every parent does), but I think it's best if Cate gets a better nights sleep.  In all honesty, the longest she's fussed herself to sleep is about 20 minutes and she woke up happy and refreshed.  Mission: Accomplished!

The twins continue to amaze me with their vocabulary and new skills.  Last night we put together a big puzzle that I bought (on clearance!) at Border's.  They really enjoyed fitting the pieces together and you could see they were really working at figuring it out.  I'm looking forward to when they're old enough to play some games like Hi Ho Cheerio, Candyland and Memory.  They really enjoy coloring and playing with playdoh, although those are NOT activities that I can leave them at the table to do alone because they eat the crayons and playdoh.  Sigh. 

Some other random musings:

Last night at dinner the twins could hear the train going by.  Matthew looks at me and his eyes light up.  He says "Mama, choo choo!"  He listens for a second, then puts his hand up behind his ear and says "Mama, choo choo!  Hear it?"  I can't wait to take him to Greenfield Village to check out the trains this summer! 

Cate is becoming more active.  She enjoys time in the walker now.  She likes to follow me around the kitchen and she also enjoys chasing the dog.  She can sit up very well on her own now.  She isn't crawling yet, but she is trying to scoot around to get toys. 

I took all 3 kids to the grocery store yesterday morning while Jeremy took a quick nap (he had a rough night at work Saturday).  They are very good in the store, especially for the ages they are!  I did have to give them a quick snack mid-way through to avoid a potential meltdown.  The real disaster happened at the check stand.  The regular lines were all really full so I went for the big U-Scan.  I had all but about 12 items scanned and the machine locked up.  Frozen.  The lady comes over, tries to fix it.  No luck.  Maybe she can suspend my order and move it to another station?  Nope.  I have to start all over.  Really?  Why me?  I have 3 kids and 150 dollars worth of groceries!  The kids, who have been very patient, are now getting restless.  Cate who has slept through the entire store is now awake.  I'm seriously on borrowed time at this point.  Yikes!  The lady attending to the station could tell I was becoming anxious.  She began helping me move each item from the checkstand I was at to another empty one where I could re-scan it and re-bag it.  Ugh!  She did help by giving the kids each about a half-dozen stickers which kept them mostly happy.  We managed to make it out of the store without anyone crying.

When we got home Claire and Matthew were helping put the groceries away.  Claire handed me each item out of one of the grocery bags until it was empty.  Then she inspected the bag to check for any remaining items.  Wadded the bag up.  Opened the pantry and threw the bag in the garbage.  She turns around with a big smile on her face and says "I did it!"  Jeremy was rolling on the floor!

One other random Claire story.  We were at my parents' house a couple weeks ago.  My Dad was sitting at the kitchen table working on his laptop.  Claire climbs up on the bench next to him.  Looks up at him.  Holds up a piece of paper towel and says "I pickin' nose".  I thought he was going to fall off the bench he was laughing so hard.  I think he said something back to her like "I'm not sure you want to share that!".   

Santa Claus Sleeps at the Fire Station

Back in December we took the kids to see Santa at the fire station where Jeremy works.  We've only been to visit Daddy at work one time since then and I may have blogged about it, but here's a refresher.  When we got there the kids ran out to the bay where the trucks are kept.  They were checking everything out for a bit and Claire says "Santa Claus is coming" because when we had been there previously Santa rode in on one of the fire trucks.  We couldn't believe she remembered!  Anyway, she kept saying it and one of Jeremy's co-workers spoke up and said "Santa Claus is sleeping".  To Claire this meant that he knew where Santa was and could take her to see him.  Needless to say, she stuck to Jeremy's buddy like glue and repeatedly asked him about Santa.  Too cute!!!  I told him that he was in trouble now, she was going to be his new best friend.  So fast-forward to yesterday (about 6 weeks since our last visit to the fire station), here is my conversation with Claire:
Claire: "Where's Daddy?"
Mama:  "He's at work"
Matthew looks up from playing with his truck and says: "Dada drives the fire truck"
Claire: "Daddy's at work?"
Mama: "Yep, he'll be back tomorrow morning for breakfast"
Claire: "Santa Clause sleeping at Daddy's work."
Mama: "Santa Clause lives at Daddy's work?"
Claire: "Yep, Santa Clause is at the fire station."

How does she remember that???  Clearly Santa had wayyyyy more of an impact on Claire than I had previously realized.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday!

My Grampa Sokolnicki turned 90 a couple weeks ago and we all went down to Hamtramck for a Polish dinner.  I was a little worried that Jeremy and the kids wouldn't find anything on the menu to eat, but Jeremy found a Polish sausage dish that he really liked and much to my surprise, the restaurant had kids chicken fingers so everyone was happy.  My Mom made a chocolate cake for dessert and the restaurant played the Polish birthday song.  Everyone had a great time and the food was really good, too.  The twins are really into saying "Happy Birthday" to everyone right now, which fit right in.  Happy Birthday, Grampa!  Here's to many more!

I managed a few photos - including a rare group photo ;)

Daddy and Cate (this is my favorite "Cate" outfit)
Claire showing Grampa his candles
Matthew's helping Grampa blow out the candles
Sarah and Matthew
Beth and Andrew with Baby Cate
Claire loves chocolate cake...
Matthew couldn't get enough.
Aunt Cheryl with Cate
Matthew & Daddy "Cheese!"
Group shot