Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Travel

This year traveling with all three has been the easiest in three years. We got to the airport early to avoid the last to check in worry of losing our seats and having to go on the next day's flight. We avoided security by pleading to the officer that we were traveling with 3 small children. We avoided the delays because there was no snow. It was a pleasant trip and the boys were absolutely perfect. They played nicely on the plane the entire time and were absolutely perfect. Amber didn't do so well at the landing for our layover, she cried (read: screamed) the entire 20 min. descent into Dickenson. But, she was OK on takeoff and the landing into Williston.

It has been a nice trip and as always I am ready to get home. Four days trapped inside makes the boys very antsy and into everything. But overall, they are doing great and they very much enjoy spending time with Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Mark and Aunt Diane.

Tomorrow we head home.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Potty Training Update

Cory has started using the potty and wearing underwear all day with a high level of success. He still goes back and forth on what he wants to do at night, and I'm really all for diapers at night right now. One night he wore underwear and woke up and didn't make it to the bathroom in time. It severely upset him and he had a hard time getting into his day. He eventually came out of it and did fine the rest of the day. Yesterday he even went potty in a public restroom during a shopping outing. He also really enjoys being one of the 'big boys' at daycare and lining up at the bathroom door before lunch time.

Tyler wears underwear at home on the weekends and in the evenings when he thinks about it. He still wants his diaper on when he has to go poop and he will not wear underwear at daycare. I'm not sure if he's worried he'll have an accident, but I think so. He does really well at home so it's probably just a matter of time. He is very aware of the pecking order at daycare and is very sensitive to all the other boys. I think he wants to be confident he can do it before he makes the commitment away from home.

Amber, believe it or not, is also very interested in the potty. I think mostly because she wants to do everything the boys are doing. She has gone a few times, but mostly it's all about doing what the boys are doing. She does have awareness, though. I can tell when she's going and I ask her if she needs her diaper changed and she will say 'yes' when she does. I've read that there is a window of opportunity between 18-24 months and it would be a great thing to get all three done at the same time. I've also read, and experienced, that girls learn before boys.

It's such a big milestone and I can't believe that the kids are learning despite our rookiness!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Starting the House Project

Today a big front end loader came out to our property to start digging the hole for the basement of the new house. They had to stop because the machine is too heavy and will come out on Monday to finish the hole with a track hoe. (I'm not sure if I spelled that right).



Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Cheer

I have been busy updating our Fossil Ridge Farm blog that I continue to neglect this very important part of me and our family. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with everyone here celebrating our last Thanksgiving in our house on Bluestem. It was sort of nostalgic, but that was certainly overshadowed by the excitment of family and the impending holidays.

After seeing Santa at the mall on Sunday, the kids decided to re-create Santa's sleigh out of our living room chair. The chair is positioned in a corner, so they piled every single toy in the house behind the chair. They piled up and pored over the edge. They informed me that this was Santa's sleigh.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santa!

Cory and Tyler both sat on Santa's lap. I thought Cory would, but Tyler surprised me by climbing up in his lap. Amber surprised me by not climbing in his lap. They both asked for cuckoo clocks (!?) and 2 wheel bikes (without training wheels). In fact, Cory informed me that he would cry if his bike had training wheels on it.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family Portrait

I guess we never really need to go to a studio to get a wonderful family picture. Seems like we've got lots of photographers in our family!



Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, We Can!

This one made me cry. I haven't posted much about my views in this election, my site is about my family, but this struck a chord. I am so happy and proud of our country right now. We have made a statement to the world that we are not happy with what is going on.

Also, I am so happy for people like Joanne.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Birthday!

What a beautiful day in Colorado.

We had Cory and Tyler's birthday party at a pumpkin patch and we couldn't have asked for better weather. After a cool weekend the weekend before, we were worried, but it was 75 degrees and a sunny, glorious fall day.

The boys had a wonderful day jumping around on the hay bale maze and running up and down the dirt pile. They had lots of friends and family to help them celebrate.
Three. I can't believe it!



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Barn Has Life

Not only do we have 2 (and soon to be 3) horses living in our barn. We also have 2 kittens. The boys named them Taffy and Cookie and they are so cute!! What a difference a living barn makes - it smells so good and feels all right. Everyone is happy.







Life is good.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can't Sleep

I don't know why some nights I just lay in bed and can't seem to drift off to never never land. I think I'm just too excited about our farm project and the horses we are now boarding at our place. We have so much to do and it is so fun. I've been patient in knowing that I will some day get another horse when the kids are old enough and I have a little more time to myself during the week and weekends. But, mom has wanted her horse dream fulfilled quicker than we would be ready to buy any horses.

So, dad put a sign out in front of the property and we've gotten 5 people interested in a little over a week. We are in an ideal location because many neighborhoods are very close and there are no other facilities very close. We also have a very nice set-up with a 3 stall barn and very nice hay pasture.

So, we got our first horses on Tuesday and it couldn't be a more ideal situation. The woman that owns the horses doesn't ride very often and she said we could ride them whenever we want. My mom and I now have horses to ride that are paid for by someone else that is paying board at the farm.

Miles is happy. The kids absolutely love them as well. Amber won't leave without a fuss and the boys always ask when we'll be able to see the horses.

I can't wait to have my own, but at least now our barn isn't being used for a furniture storage place.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Picture Update

Because I just don't have the energy to write anything blog worthy. (I'm sure there's something!) But, pictures are so much better than words:







Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summertime, Summertime, Summertime!

Wow, I cannot believe that it is already August 10. Where has the time gone? Where have I been? My new job has kept me so busy that I don't have any time for any of my blogging anymore. I'm bummed because as I go through my days and when I go to bed at night, I think, I have to capture this, I have to remember it!! And then it doesn't get done and then it's a week later and I can't remember anything!


So far we've had a wonderful summer. Since I got back from my trip, we've been having a wonderful time.


  • We had our first camping trip with all three kids.
  • Amber is growing like a weed and now attending the same daycare as the boys.
  • We are slowing moving forward with our new house plans.
  • We have been attending birthday parties.
  • Boys are growing up and becoming quite the little polite helpers.
  • My new job is keeping me busy and I'm enjoying it.
  • Dad had his younger brother out and we had a mini 'family-reunion'.
  • I'm going to start blogging again more frequently! (I promise, I'll try)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

12 Months

So much to update now that I'm back to work and in our regular (and somewhat new) routine. The new being that I'm trying to add an exercise regimen back into my schedule. I'm trying to get up at 5AM every day so that I can exercise.

Anyway, back to the important stuff. Amber had her 12 month well check Dr. appointment today. Here are her stats:

Height: 31" (95%)
Weight: 25 lbs, 5oz. (93%)
Head: 18 1/2 (92%)

Big, healthy girl!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tomorrow!

Tomorrow we get to go home. Of course, it's still 3AM in the morning at home, but it's 5:10 Tuesday evening here and when I wake up in the AM, I'll be on a plane home.
I leave Singapore at 8:20AM (which is 6:20PM Tuesday evening at home) and arrive at the shuttle pick up in Fort Collins near our home at 6:45PM Wednesday evening. It is so surreal that I will leave Wednesday morning, travel for 24 hours and arrive Wednesday evening.

It feels like I've been gone forever. I miss the kids and my husband so much it is unbearable. I'm sort of feeling numb at the moment, but know that at least my journey is ending and I don't have to fret about it anymore.

The trip has been ok. The jet lag in India was not good, but I've felt pretty good my entire stay here in Singapore. It is beautiful here. Hot and humid and lush and green. We got a chance to hike through the Botanic Gardens and they are beautiful. Not as many flowers (we didn't pay to go in the Orchid Garden), but just very lush trees and landscaping.

I wish I could have enjoyed these exotic locations a little more, but I've experienced enough to know that I don't want to go back to India (this was my second trip) and that if I could take my family or if the kids were older, I would come back to Singapore.

Logging off for now, will try to post when I get back, but then we're heading to North Dakota to celebrate the 4th of July with Miles' family.

Happy travels and some pictures to leave you with...




Sunday, June 22, 2008

2 Days to Go!

I've already started packing...

The other night, Miles asked the boys what they were going to do to mommy when she got home. He was expecting the response to be something like, 'Give mommy a hug', or 'Give mommy a kiss'. Instead, it was 'Make mommy laugh'.

Breaking Heart

Today is day 8 in my international trip to India and Singapore. I am in Singapore and it is Sunday evening. Only a few more days to go, but my heart has already broken. The only thing that will mend it is seeing my precious family. I miss them so much I can't even write about it.

I was in India through Saturday morning and that was the hardest part of the trip. I am in Singapore today through Wednesday and it is very nice here. I spent the morning shopping for Amber's birthday presents and finding some fun things for the kids from Singapore. Good shopping, but certainly not bargain shopping. There are all sorts of designer shops and everything is very expensive. I managed to find a department store with reasonable prices, so I got some fun stuff for the kids.

I've also been looking for a special gift for my parents since they are so much help and have been invaluable to Miles while I've been away. Not to mention invaluable to us all the time!! They are trying to downsize their house, so I'm having a hard time finding something for them. I don't want to contribute any clutter, but I want to get them something from Singapore. I wandered around all afternoon, but didn't find anything that worked for me. I'm not sure I'll have any more time to do any more shopping since we're working Monday and Tuesday and then head home very early Wednesday morning.

I'm thinking that maybe a very thoughtful gift from home will be the best.

Only 3 more days!!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Precious

I can't believe our little girl is 11 months old. How did that happen. Miles said that it was the boys that keep distracting us.


I am so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful family.



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Busy Much?

Every night I go to bed saying to myself, I really should carve out 20-30 minutes to update my blogs. That's not a lot of time, right? But, alas, I fall asleep and don't get to it. Here's a few things that are going on right now, so posting will be sparse until probably mid-July...
  • Preparing for a business trip to India/Singapore June 15 - 25 (ugh, I really don't want to go. I've tried many tactics, including getting a new job, to try to get out of it, but no dice. I'm going.)
  • Preparing for vacation and a driving trip to ND to see Miles family June 27 - July 3 (This will be fun. I enjoy going there and other than the long trip in the car for the kids, it's really nice for them to see Miles' family)
  • Managing 2 jobs at work since I got a new job and my old job won't let me go until a week after I return from vacation - long transition time.
  • Dealing with the city and trying to get our submittal complete so we can schedule a hearing - see my other blog for details if you are at all interested - I'm going to try to update that today as well
  • Trying to get ahold of the water association (our ditch water for the farm) president to find out if he'll sign our drawing (see above)
  • Working with our builder to determine exact location of the new house and if we will be able to have a basement after all since now that the ditch water is running, we've got standing water and ground water appears to be less than a foot
  • Working with the kitchen designer to come up with a better design for our kitchen
  • Working with the house designer to make sure the layout is how we want it so he can start on structural stuff
  • Dealing with family issues and stress in grandparents regarding their relationship and their babysitting duties
  • Trying to get the house ready to put on the market
  • Cleaning out and selling or donating unused items
  • Putting ads on Craig's list for stuff not sold at the garage sale (should have posted about that on Saturday - maybe I still will)
  • Trying out a new babysitter this weekend so Miles and I can go to the Parade of Homes and go out to dinner (first time since???)
  • Helping my parents out with their babysitter
  • Farm chores like spraying weeds and getting ditch water to pasture
  • Organizing pictures and Creative Memories stuff so that we can stage the study
  • Making sure kids get fed, bathed and to bed on time on a daily basis
  • Cooking extra meals and freezing them so Miles can feed kids while I'm gone
  • Buying gifts for friends that just had babies
  • Getting some sleep so that I can function every day

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weepy

One of the things that I didn't expect from motherhood is being so weepy about things. I've had to turn off the radio on occasion because every single song will make me sob. It is absolutely amazing to me the amount of love that I have for them. I never expected it.

As I was going through infertility treatments and IVF, I had in the back of my mind that I may never get pregnant. I was coming to terms with that and was actually OK with it. If I would have known then what I know now about how amazing this experience is, I would never have thought that. I suppose my infertility treatments would have been way more stressful, but I would have known for sure that was the path I wanted to take.

Now I just have to live with the fact that I get all teary from songs that I never even expected. It's a good thing, right?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fussy

Ever have those days where at least one kid is crying the whole time? I think yesterday classifies as that in our house. Miles had to quickly leave right after dinner to meet with a friend and a builder to look at his house. He wanted to get some ideas for our new house. I had all three for the rest of dinner and up to bedtime.

Tyler threw his food, so had to miss the rest of dinner and go up to his room. He banged and cried until I went up to get him. I opened his door and told him he could come down when he was ready. He continued to bang and cry for another 10 minutes until I went up to see what he might want. He had stripped himself down to only his shirt and socks. (This is dangerous as we've learned from the pooh experience.)

Amber has been fussy in the evenings and I really don't know what she wants. Well, I do. She wants me to hold her and walk around with her and play with her. Hard to do at dinner time when I'm trying to make dinner, feed everyone, get their milks in the right cups, make my own plate, inhale a few bites of my own dinner, pick up thrown food, pick up thrown cups, pull dogs off the table, get finished plates into the sink, rinse off plates, pull dogs off tables, pull dogs off high-chair, feed dogs their own kibbles, feed dogs food not eaten, pull dogs off counters, get dishes into dishwasher, hand wash pots and pans and other things that can't go into the dishwasher, stop kids from hitting each other, make sure kids aren't getting into something dangerous, make sure kids only grab one ice cream sandwich from the freezer, clean off hands, clean off table, clean off floor, clean off faces, etc.

Oops, I digress...

So not sure why Amber's been fussy, other than I think she's not napping as much as she should. I have been giving her a little bit of whole cow's milk at dinner. I'm wondering if I'm pushing that and it's bothering her stomach. I guess I'll stop that for awhile and see if she's still fussy.

Cory was pretty good last night, but he gets fussy because he doesn't want to share a toy or someone takes a toy from him. He cries when he can't find DeeDee and he cries when I'm not holding him. I can usually snap him out of it by kneeling down to his level and asking him to use his words. Usually he just wants me to hold him.

So after I got most of the dishes done, we all went downstairs to watch a movie. I can usually do this in the evenings with a high rate of success. Last night was good. We all went down and they picked out Stellaluna. When the boys were settled, I took Amber up to bed. She was very glad to get her bottle and lay down. Went to sleep without a peep.

I went downstairs and Tyler wanted to cuddle in my lap. Cory wanted to sit next to us. Ahh, calm. Miles got home and we went to bed.

When does the fussy slow down? Aren't the boys old enough to stop all the crying?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

My sweet, sweet babies. How much I love you and how much I love being your mom. Each of you are becoming your own person and developing your personalities and how much I love each of you!

Cory

You are such a sweet, cuddly boy. I love our mornings together when I come in your room and you make up words and I say them back to you. You love to giggle at this. Then you roll around and say, "You can't reach me" and I pretend I can't and you giggle, giggle, giggle. Then you want to get dressed and go down and join everyone for breakfast.

You are a smart cookie! You know all your colors and you love to put different thoughts together. I don't know why I am so amazed at your brilliance! I try to encourage you and ask you all sorts of questions. "Hey, I have an idea." and "Don't ya" are two of my favorite sayings right now. You know what a grader, a loader, a dumptruck, a scraper, a roller, a tractor, a combine, a backhoe and a snort are. You correct me when I'm wrong.

You are starting to say, "I can't". This bothers me probably more than it should. I know you can do anything you put your mind to and I don't want to do things for you and ruin your self esteem.

You are a born leader. Everyone likes to follow you. In a new situation, you just jump right in and are in the middle of it in no time. You and your older cousin Kyran like to help Bumpa with the planting of the garden and both of you run around together. You are very careful and make sure that you are safe in the parking lot and around the streets.

You like to cuddle and I love our time together. I love you so much!

Tyler

You are such a gentle soul. You love your brother and you especially love your baby sister. I have to help you learn to be more gentle with her because you like to hold her and want to pick her up. She lets you do it because I think she loves you just as much.

You are a little shy in groups, but once you survey the situation, you are comfortable anywhere. You are a tall, handsome little boy. I worry about your teenage years because you are not afraid of anything. You go all out and are very focused. When you put your mind to it, there is nothing that you can't do.

You are such a good sharer. You like to give Amber toys to play with and you will give her your DeeDee (blanket) if she seems upset. You will give Cory a toy if he's crying about it and you have it. You like to bring things to me and help around the kitchen and the yard.

You are so smart! You know all of your colors and you can count to 8 all by yourself. You love to play Sudoku and you can draw little circles inside all the squares. You are very organized and can line things up very neatly, although you mostly prefer to dump toys all over the room.

You challenge every fiber of patience in me. I hope I can be a good mom for you and guide you in a positive way. Sometimes you don't want anything to do with me, but if I go away, you want me right back. I love our cuddle time together.

You are a quiet leader. You are a quick learner and others follow you just by your very nature. You have a quiet determination and a nack for getting things done.

I love you so much! You are my precious boy.

Amber

At 10 months you are starting to really let us know your opinions. I think you've realized that with both your 2 1/2 year old brothers, you need to start voicing your opinion. You have been such a blessing and so wonderful to take care of.

You love your mommy and get upset every time I leave the room. We have had a wonderful time together and I love having you around. You help keep us grounded. You really don't like to cuddle that much, but you want me right there by your side.

You are very sweet and very independent! You never did very well with us feeding you baby food, you went straight to the solid food your brothers were eating. When you were just born last summer you would cry and I would hold you and bounce you and nothing worked. When I set you down, you were happy.

You are crawling and getting into all sorts of stuff. You love to be in the middle of the action and will often times get close to being run over by a flying dump truck or fire engine.

You are very forgiving of your brothers and will let Tyler poke at you and try to pick you up. Tyler and Cory make you giggle and you love watching them.

You are my precious girl. I love you so much!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hands Are Not for Hitting

Tyler has been a challenge as he goes through his two's with learning how to express himself, especially when he's upset or angry about something. We went through a biting phase at daycare, a head butting stage for awhile and now hitting. He will hit me, his Daddy or Cory mostly. He doesn't seem to hit other kids at his daycare now, which is good.

I have a really hard time dealing with this. It really hurts my feelings. Usually he'll hit me while I'm taking him up for a time out or taking him to bed. Doing something that he really doesn't want to do.

Last night after we got their pajamas on, brushed their teeth and finished our books, Miles wanted to lay down with Cory and I was taking Tyler to bed. Tyler started kicking and crying and then hitting me saying that he wanted Daddy. After he hit me twice, I told him that I wasn't going to lay down with him and that he'd have to lay in bed by himself. My tactic is to leave him and walk away when he hits. It does seem to help. So I laid him down and left him in his room (locking the door of course). He kicked and screamed and I waited the obligatory 3 minutes. When I went back in, he calmed down and said he was sorry. He then asked for Daddy to lay down with him, so I went to get Miles and he laid down with him.

I know walking away is the right thing to do, it's just so frustrating at the time. I can't wait till he gets out of this phase.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Croup

Well, we didn't go to the Dr., but Amber was sick over the weekend. So much for sleeping through the night! Friday night she woke up at 11pm and had a fever (low grade), about 100.8. I gave her Motrin and it seemed to help, but she woke up several times.

Along with the fever was a barky like cough and difficulty breathing. Saturday was tough for her, she obviously didn't feel very good. Saturday night was better and she slept most of the night. By Sunday she felt better with no fever, so we decided that she could go to daycare on Monday.

When I got to daycare there was a sign on the Infant B room door - 1 confirmed case of croup. I'm pretty sure that's what she had. I looked it up and it is pretty common for her age group and encompasses a large range of upper respiratory inflammation type viruses. Monday she had a great day and was completely over it.

I think about how much easier it is to parent the second (or in our case third) child. If this had happened to one of the twins, I'm sure I would have panicked and gone to the Dr. over the weekend. As it turns out, Amber is fine, viral infection that can't be treated anyway. It is so much better to be more laid back about these things. So much easier on everyone.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Kitty

I had a beautiful white kitty before we were married. His name was Romeo and the reason I had him is a long story, but he was a cranky sort and was hard to like, but I did love him and gave him the best care he could have. Some of his hard to live with traits included spraying on furniture and pooping outside his box. (Even if his box were cleaned every day, which I did.)

When I got married, Romeo went to live with my parents. Miles didn't want a cat living in the house. He had grown up with barn kitties that lived outside and didn't come in the house. After awhile Romeo got to be too much for my parents because my mom since had gotten 2 cats of her own. The unfortunate thing about the timing was that mom decided that she couldn't have him when I was 6 months pregnant with the twins. Giving him to a shelter was out of the question since he was an older cat with some health problems. They would not have kept him and he would have felt horribly abandoned. I just could not do that to him. I owed him the kindness and dignity and responsibility for him. He was a living being that couldn't just be discarded. So, we dealt with it and Miles actually cleaned the box every day while I was pregnant.

Romeo lived pretty well. He had his own room, our guest room, and spent most of the time in there. Eventually he would come down in the evenings sometimes to get pet, but most of the time he slept in the sun in that room. At night he would yowl his displeasure about many things, I'm sure. He may have been a little lonely, but I gave him what I could, especially after the twins were born. At this point, Romeo was 13 years old.

I'm giving you this background because the boys never really knew the kitty. They knew he was there and would sometimes go into the room to see if the kitty was there, but they never really paid too much attention.

About six months ago, we finally made the decision to put Romeo down. It was a long, hard decision and one I still question, but at least he left this world well loved and with a lot of dignity.

Tonight while I was laying with Cory at bedtime, Cory started talking about the kitty. He asked me where he went. Since we don't believe in a god, this is a hard story to tell to a 2 year old. I told him that the kitty went to the vet. I'm not so sure that was a good response, because then he said that Grammie has 2 kitties and they don't go to the vet. Well, yes, kitties also go to the vet for their checkups like we go to the Dr. for our checkups.

Then Cory talked about Angie's kitty and that her name is Miss Kitty and that she lives in the garage. He talked about Romeo living in our house and kept asking me where the kitty went.

This is really hard for several reasons. First, I don't want to make things up and not give Cory the chance to know what really happened. Second, he makes me think about Romeo when I'm still missing him and sad that he's gone.

I guess it's also good in a way, since Romeo is loved and asked about even by ones that he didn't even know that well. And I'm amazed at the things that the kids keep inside their heads even when they don't have much speech yet and then bring up months later when you least expect it.

Bye bye Romeo, we love you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pulling All Nighters

We are now officially sleeping through the night. I'm calling it. Although Amber did cry a few times last night and Tyler still comes into our bed sometime in the middle of the night, we are, for the most part, getting a full nights sleep. It really feels good. I'm even able to stay up a little after everyone goes to bed to get a few things done. I'm feeling a little more motivated at night and I'm feeling like I need to start washing my hair more often than just 3-4 times a week. Wow.

Now that Amber is sleeping well at night, we need to work on Tyler so that he sleeps all night in his own bed. He's not feeling really well right now, so I have a hard time turning him away, but when he starts feeling well, we're going to have to take him back to his room when he comes in.

Cory is still our great sleeper. I know he doesn't always go to sleep right away, but he lays quietly in his bed. I hope that we can use him as an example for Tyler. Not sure how that will work, I don't want to compare them, but maybe a way to motivate him to sleep all night. We'll see.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Great Weekend

I'm having trouble finding the time to post right now. I'm also having trouble thinking about what to write. There is so much going on for us right now. Working through the personal and closer relationship with my parents as they continue to provide care for the boys 3 days a week, getting through the city process so that we can start building our house and working full time. Also the pressure to try to write about something interesting. Although I know that I'll love coming back to read these pages years from now when the house is done, the kids are moving away and my parents are needing more care from us.

We did have a wonderful weekend. The boys are growing so fast and are starting to communicate with each other. Instead of just talking to us and including the other, they are actually asking each other questions and playing together. I had no idea it would take 2 1/2 years to get here. I got the video camera out a lot over the weekend and did get to catch some of the fun conversations. What a kick.

Amber continues to exert her presence on us as well. She is crawling all over the place and pulling things out of the cupboards. I wonder if the boys have communicated that to her in their own way...

I will try to post more often. I haven't forgotten about you, my blog, but I'm having trouble fitting you in. I will be back again soon. Maybe today or maybe tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Crawling

Amber has been scooting across the floor on her belly for several weeks now. I realize how dirty our wood floors continually are! I guess I can at least blame the boys...

Every day she would get up on all four, rock a bit, then plop down and scoot. She wiggles her legs and feet and looks like a fish out of water. Both Cory and Tyler scooted before they crawled too. Tyler started crawling pretty quickly, but Cory had the army crawl down so well, he could zip across the floor almost as quickly as Tyler. I think he finally saw that crawling was more advantageous and got up to crawl.

Today Amber took about 10-15 crawling steps across the floor to come see me. I have such mixed feelings about these huge milestones. I love watching them grow and I can't wait until she says, "I love you Mommy". But she's our last baby and it makes me sad to see her growing up so fast.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

This post by one of my favorite bloggers got me thinking about this subject and I just want to write about my thoughts and experiences. I bounce between feeling incredibly guilty and then justifying my decision about doing what I needed to do.

Here's my story. I breastfed the boys until they were 6 months old. I think that was a pretty darn good achievement. They were big boys and ate a LOT. When they turned 6 months, I went back to work, they got hungrier and I just couldn't keep up. Plus, the pumping at work thing just wasn't working either. I did it for awhile, but after I realized I wasn't producing enough milk for them, I made the choice to go to formula.

My hope was to do the same for Amber, 6 months and then move to formula. I knew that I was going back to work after 4 months, but was committed to give it another try. I had finally purchased the industrial breast pump after the boys were about 4 months old.

When Amber was 7 weeks old, she came down with a nasty virus. She didn't eat for an entire day, we ended up in the emergency room and an overnight stay in the hospital. The Dr. thought it could be pyloric stenosis (that's another post...), but good thing it JUST ended up being a virus. Anyway, I pumped in the hospital, but my milk supply had already suffered and was being stubborn about coming back. I did get enough I think for her to be satisfied with, but I never really totally recovered.

In addition to that blip, Amber was sleeping most of the night. I was home on maternity leave with the 3 of them by myself and was exhausted most days. I just couldn't fathom setting my alarm to get up in the night to pump. I also couldn't get the time to pump during the day. So, after Amber was about 3 months, I gave up on the breastfeeding altogether.

Like I mentioned, I do have some regrets. I wish I would have put forth more effort, especially when I read comments like this...

"The benefits of breastfeeding last a lifetime. This is scientific fact. Children who are breastfed tend to be slimmer, smarter, and healthier as a group. Are there exceptions? Yes. Can formula-fed children be healthy, thin, smart, and happy? Of course. Should women be made to feel guilty for not breastfeeding? Most definitely not.
But, please, ladies, don't pretend the benefits of breastfeeding are fleeting as that's an insult to science and the millions of women worldwide who go to the trouble of breastfeeding."

So I am trying not to beat myself up and trying to tell myself that Amber is going to be happy and healthy despite my failure to breastfeed for longer than 3 months. I hope the 3 months gave her enough of a boost that she still gets a benefit from it.

Only time will tell, I guess.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Getting There

At Amber's 9 month appointment, the Dr. asked if she was sleeping through the night. She's not. She does sometimes, I know she can, but mostly she wakes up anywhere from midnight to 3AM for a tasty bottle in the middle of the night. I've posted about this before. It's frustrating because she's only gotten up once since the day she was born. She started out as a really easy baby, only wanting a feeding once at night from day one.

When I explained to the Dr. that the reason I'm still getting up when I was able to let the boys cry it out by the time they were 9 months old, is that the truth is I don't want her to wake up Tyler. Spending 15 minutes in the middle of the night to cuddle and feed her and put her right back down is no big deal. Dealing with a full on toddler tantrum in the middle of the night is an entirely different story. So, I've been getting up and quietly hoping that she'll eventually grow out of it. But she's not.

The Dr. thought that she's probably now just using me, or the bottle, as a pacifier to go back to sleep. She certainly doesn't need it from a nutrition standpoint. (Which is another post, she's already eating table food...). I digress. The Dr. suggested that I slowly decrease the amount of formula that I offer her in the middle of the night. If I'm giving her 6 oz., then the next few nights go to 4, then 2, then 1 oz. of water, etc. I thought that was a very reasonable thing to try and something that I can certainly do.

So a few nights ago, I decreased the amount of formula to 4 oz. She was angry when she drained it. She cried, grabbed the bottle, tried to get more out of it, threw it, then I laid her down and she put her thumb in her mouth and went right to sleep. Good. :-) About 4 days of that, then I decreased her amount down to 2 oz. on Saturday night. Again, she was really mad at me, but when I laid her down, she went right back to sleep. Last night she peeped a little bit, but went back to sleep. I didn't have to go in at all.

I know this won't be the last, she'll probably wake up in the middle of the night again, but I feel like this approach is working for us. If she wakes up again tonight, I'll give her the reduced 2 oz. again. I'll do that for a few more nights, then go to water.

A friend of mine said that when she gave her baby water in the middle of the night, she never woke up again.

After we get Amber straightened out, we'll have to work on Tyler. He's getting up anywhere between midnight and 4AM to come sleep the rest of the night in our bed. I don't have the energy to focus on both in the middle of the night, but once Amber is sleeping, Tyler will have to sleep all night in his own bed.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

9 Months

Amber had her nine month appointment this week. Again, she's still tracking right in between both Cory and Tyler at their 9 month appointment.

Amber
Height: 28 3/4" (85%)
Weight: 21 lbs. 11oz. (90%)
Head: 18 1/4": (96%)

Cory (9 month appointment on: 7/27/06)
Height: 28" (40%)
Weight: 21 lbs. 1oz. (55%)
Head: 18 1/2": (85%)

Tyler (9 month appointment on: 7/27/06)
Height: 30 1/4" (97%)
Weight: 22 lbs. 14oz. (75%)
Head: 19": (>97%)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sudoku

This is a quick post because I don't have a lot of time right now, but I wanted to get some thoughts out since it has been so long!

The boys like to play Sudoku at night as part of their nightly ritual. They will pick a page, "This is a good puzzle." And then start to fill in the squares. Cory likes to scribble over the whole puzzle and Tyler likes to make little circles in each one of the squares. If they see a finished puzzle where I've had to make some changes by scratching out a wrong number, they'll ask "What happened, Mommy?"

I think we need to call Mensa or something.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kitchen Capers

I'm so glad that I'm so easy going and that things don't get to me too often. We planned a pretty casual Easter dinner. Miles and I are not religious and don't celebrate Easter from a religious standpoint, but I really do believe in family traditions and building memories for our kids. One of those is to celebrate spring with the Easter bunny and a good ham and scalloped potato dinner. We didn't celebrate with Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Grammie and Grampie because we wanted a quieter day at home. I found a recipe for some really yummy looking lemon cupcakes, bought a spiral ham and some potatoes and cheese so I could scallop potatoes.

Right around morning snack time, the boys wanted to help Mommy make the cupcakes. I got out the recipe and got out the ingredients. The recipe called for 4 egg whites. First egg didn't make it, got too much yolk in the pan, so I dumped it out and started over. This should have been my first clue.

We poured all the ingredients into the mixer bowl and mixed up the cake batter. Boys helped lick the beaters (which is the whole point of making a cake, right?) Next we filled the muffin cups. I realized at that point that I only have enough pans to make 12 muffins. So, we get out a round cake pan and pour the rest into that. I guess I should mention that now the boys are spooning out cake batter from the muffins I had just filled.

The oven was ready, so we put our cupcakes and round cake in and set the timer for 21 minutes. I've learned to set our oven timer for a time about 5 minutes less than the low end of the scale that the cake recipe calls for. I can always put it back in if it's underdone, right?

When the timer goes off, I open the oven door, but the oven was off! The cakes were half baked. I'll use Cory and Tyler's favorite quote, "What happened, Mommy?" I think that Miles turned it off while he was wiping down the cabinets and setting up the pot to boil potatoes. But, he doesn't remember turning the oven off and even accused me of never even turning it on. But, the cakes were half baked, so we know it was on at one point. I guess either one of us could have turned it off absentmindedly and not remembered doing it. Three kids somehow does that to your brain. Anyway, I turned the oven back on and kept the cakes in.

About 20 minutes later, I check on the cakes and I guess they're done. They each have a big crater in the middle, but the tops are brown (a little browner than I would like) and the toothpick comes out clean. Out they come.

While the cakes are cooling, I get the ingredients out to make the cream cheese frosting. Yes, my mom did remind me that you can actually buy cream cheese frosting from the store and I could put a little bit of lemon flavoring in it to get the same effect, but I decided that I need to make the frosting. I can't remember the last time I actually made frosting from actual powdered sugar. I already had the cream cheese and butter out so they were soft. Dumped those into the mixer bowl and then measured the powdered sugar. I say measured, but I wasn't exactly sure how to measure the stuff. The recipe called for 16 ounces in weight and I had a 32 ounce bag. I couldn't just put 2 cups in, I don't think that would have been quite right, so I guess at half the bag.

I keep the mixer unplugged while I'm working because the boys like to turn knobs and move levers. It's just really safer that way. So, when I plugged the mixer in, it was already in high speed. I wish I could describe the scene at that very instant. Powdered sugar coated our kitchen (and me) from ceiling to floor and beyond. It was hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing. Dad pitched in right away to clean up the sugar off the floor and countertops so the dogs and kids wouldn't spread it further. At least it was contained to the kitchen, my clothes and my hair.

Now we had to figure out how much more powdered sugar we would need to make the frosting to fill the craters in our cupcakes. We got that figured out and the frosting actually turned out quite good. I taste-tested a cupcake and it wasn't bad, but really not great. Very spongy and dry. Bummer.

After the cupcakes were done and placed neatly on a serving platter, I started the potatoes boiling so that we could get them done and go to the park before dinner. It was getting to be a nice day, even though we had snow and cold on Saturday. The rest of the cooking went without incident and I got the potatoes in the refrigerator so we could just pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes before dinner.

We went to the park.

When we got home to get dinner going, I looked at the directions for cooking the ham. The ham will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cook. Bummer. I know that it's pre-cooked, so we really could eat it cold. I also realize that it is a huge ham for the 5 of us, so I really don't need to heat the whole thing. We decide to cut off enough for dinner and heat it in the microwave.

Dinner turned out great!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Decorating Eggs

In the spirit of spring and Easter...



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Teething

Our normally very sweet, very quiet, amiable little girl has turned into a little terror. I can't console her, she won't sleep, she won't eat, she doesn't want to be held, she doesn't want to play with her toys. I feel horrible, I can't seem to figure out how to make her feel better. I've been giving her infant Motrin every six hours and baby Orajel every four hours. It helps a little, but the poor girl is miserable. I peeked into her mouth (as much as she'd let me) and it looks like four of the suckers are coming in at the same time!

She's had 2 bottom teeth for awhile now. I was wondering how long it would take to get her next tooth, but I never dreamed she'd get them all at the same time. At least we can get it over with.

Last night she did finally go to sleep at 9PM and slept till about 1AM for a bottle, then went right back to sleep and slept till about 6. I just hope I can keep her comfortable so that she can at least get some sleep.

To make matters worse, this has been a horrible week for everyone. Miles is traveling, Grammie is sick, their daycare provider is sick, Amber is sick (on top of teething, had a 102.5 temp for the last 2 days. Seems to be better today, though). I had to take 2 days of vacation from work this week so that I can stay home with them. I love it and I also realize, again, how hard it can be. Everyone's napping now, so all is good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sleep - Again

Amber is still waking up at night. It's really not that bad. I make sure that I have the bottle and powdered formula pre-measured and ready to go when I go to bed at night. When she wakes up, I sleep walk to the bathroom, fill the bottle with warm water and poor in the formula. I sleep walk down to Amber's room, sit down with her and close my eyes. When she's done, I put her back in bed, she falls right back to sleep and I'm in bed and asleep 15-20 minutes later. It's really not that bad. Except she's 9 months old now. She sometimes sleeps through the night and I know she can do it.

By this time in Cory and Tyler's life, I let them cry it out. They were still sharing a room, but didn't seem to wake each other. Tyler cried more than Cory, but they both eventually slept through the night without getting another bottle. I've tried letting Amber cry it out a bit, but she gets SO LOUD she actually wakes up Tyler in the next room. And although she'll go right back to sleep after her wee morning bottle, Tyler will not go back to sleep unless I bring him into bed with us or sleep with him in his bed. That isn't a very pleasant option either.

What really has me bummed, is that she's only gotten up once a night since the day she was born. When she was 1 week old, she'd only wake up once. Now why are we STILL getting up with her after 9 months! The other crazy part is that the last few nights she's gotten up twice. We seem to be slipping backwards. I've read that they can slip at this age and to not worry that they will grow out of it pretty quickly, but ugh, it's killing me. I'm not very good at work when I'm tired. Miles actually got up with her during her second waking last night. She didn't take one sip of her bottle, but giggled and laughed and squirmed and just wanted to play. Sleep, my precious girl, sleep! We don't play in the middle of the night.

So, I keep hoping that she'll eventually start sleeping through the night consistently.
The Dr. has suggested to give her a bottle of water in the middle of the night if she wakes up. She'll eventually decide that it's not worth waking up for. Maybe I'll try that tonight, but I'm really afraid of the crying. Not the crying so much, but the waking Tyler part.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

I had so much fun writing down quotes from the boys, that I decided that, as long as I can, I'm going to include a list of wisdom on Wednesdays... Here's this week's list:
  • Hi Tyler, is there any room for me? [Cory wanted to sit in the moon car with Tyler]
  • Where's the convertible, Mommy?
  • What's up there Annie? [Asking the dog why she's looking up into the tree. Annie spends most of her day staring at the squirrels that run along our back fence and then up the tree.]
  • I've got it in the other hand so Amber can't reach it.
  • My birthday is in October.
  • Daddy has a pink shirt on. [Dad refuses to call it pink, but Cory nailed it.]
  • Look at these cute knees. [Tyler playing with Amber with only a onesie on.]
  • Santa's a boy.
  • Mommy's not a boy.
  • I'm a twin. [First time I've heard that acknowledged.]
  • Look at this truck. It has black wheels and green wheels.
  • It didn't snow last night. [Tyler looking out the window and noticing no snow on the ground. The day before, it had snowed and I pointed it out to him.]

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Weekend Full of Wisdom from Two Amazing Toddlers

Here is a list of quotes taken from C & T over the last weekend:
  • Mommy, you get 'em, Daddy won't get 'em, he's reading a book.
  • I think I'm done working Mommy.
  • This is heavy Mommy. [Mommy: Do you want me to carry it for you?] No, I don't. I'm very strong with this.
  • I'm checking this out.
  • The dogs can't lick the beaters because they don't have hands. Only boys have hands. Dogs have four legs. On the front and on the back.
  • Cars have wheels on the front and on the back... and some lights on the back.
  • Because I like this.
  • Because I was born in Texas. (Um, no you weren't...)
  • Because I was born in a hospital. (ok, yes, you were...)
  • [Daddy: What do you think about my bike?] I do think about it. A lot.
  • That's a big bite Daddy. (yes, it was!)
  • Daddy missed the fox.
  • Mommy can't say cooperation.
  • This is not a democracy.
  • Applesauce isn't for eating. [Mommy: It's not?] No, it's for lunch.
  • I'm teasing Bumpa.
  • I made Amber laugh.
  • I made Amber giggle.
  • There's a bumper on the front and on the back.
  • Okey, dokey.
  • Daddy didn't park very good.
  • I actually want a BIG pony. (my emphasis)
  • I did.
  • This isn't our street.
  • Go home.
  • Don't say that to me. (I can't remember the context on this one.)
  • These are pliers - then I pinch your nose.
  • Yes, it IS a cactus. (his emphasis)
  • It ran out of D volt batteries. (huh?!)
  • Thanks, I do want some of these. What are these called? (M&Ms)
  • I actually like these.
  • That's an air compressor.
  • That's a shop-vac.
  • I think it doesn't fit. I think it's too big.
  • We're out of gas. Bumpa had to get gas.
  • I'm situated.
  • I turned the vacuum cleaner on. (uh oh)
  • Don't worry, man.
  • This car can fit under my house.
  • There's a white chair in the house.
  • There's a corner for my nose. (about time out)
  • Bumpa and Grammie have a white truck. and a red truck too.
  • This car is too big for this hole.
  • Up and down on the track.
  • This is a Honda motorcycle.
  • Ha ha ha, we made the funny ghost laugh.
  • We can't break these tools.
  • I don't bang it hard, I bang it soft for you.
  • Let me spin this backwards.
  • Put it back together. (This one is a common one. Even when they shattered the back window on our truck...)
  • Will you change me? I have a poopy.
  • I want a cracker-cookie. (Girl Scout Thin Mints).
  • We need to eat 'em or Annie will get it.

I can hear them say all these things with the cutest little voices.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Traveling

I have so much I want to post, but I'm traveling on this business trip, so not sure how much I'll be able to update this week. I miss you guys.

We went to the zoo over the weekend and had a great time!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

7 Months (+ 3 weeks)




I've been wanting to post about Amber turning 7 months, but our picture software is still causing us fits. We just don't seem to have the time to fix it. So finally, I used an old program so I can post pictures of our precious Angel! And now she's almost 8 months.
She's not crawling yet, but so close. I'm going on a business trip next week and I'm afraid her first crawling is going to happen when I'm gone. I hate that!




Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lest You Get Cocky and Think You Know What You're Doing

Oh sleep, that elusive rejuvenator that I so desparately want to claim as my own. Just when I thought we were on the road to a somewhat normal life, my feet get pulled out from under me.

Amber had been sleeping from 7PM to 6-6:30AM without a waking in the middle of the night for 6 days straight. The boys had been napping for several hours during the day and then going to bed around 8 and waking at 6:30-7. Oh how I love that schedule. It was still difficult to get Tyler to bed, but laying with him until he falls asleep was getting to be ok.

All the wheels fell off last night.

Boys wouldn't nap yesterday. Tyler made it clear that he was not going to go to sleep. He first layed down and pretty much fell asleep pretty quickly. I thought the coast was clear, so extracted myself from under him just as he woke up. He was groggy enough that I was able to talk him into staying in bed as I left the room. Not long he was up with a poopy diaper (his new modus operande), down to change and then back to bed. Many back and forth and taking off all his clothes and banging and unplugging his monitor and basic shenanigans made us finally give up. Through all the commotion, Cory didn't go to sleep either. On the topic of no naps, Amber decided to weigh in her protest and didn't go down until 4PM for her afternoon nap.

Good naps beget good nighttime sleep. I know that. So, bedtime was ok. Everyone went down pretty easily, but Tyler woke up at 11PM banging and thrashing in his bed. I went in to check on him and he just continuted to kick and scream. I asked him if he wanted some water and he calmed down, said yes, so I left to go get it. When I got back, he said, 'NO!' So I took it out and so he said, 'I WANT WATER', so I went and got it and he said, 'NO!'. This went on for several minutes until I decided to just leave him alone. Miles eventually went in and laid down with him until he fell asleep.

Amber woke up at 1:30AM, crying for a bottle, which she promptly drained and went back to sleep.

Cory woke up at 2:30, crying for his DeeDee, which I got up to give him.

Cory woke up again at around 3:00, but settled down without me having to go in.

Amber woke up at 5AM, so Miles got up to give her another bottle and see if she'd go back down - nope!

Tyler woke up at 6:15AM.

We had to wake Cory up at 7:15AM.

Here's hoping for a better day - Bumpa and Grammie won't let them get by with no naps - and a better night!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day?

Just a quick post to share my dissapointment. I'm (we're) trying to fix some things in our marriage. Nothing serious, just need some more time to connect and be a couple. I find it hard to focus on Miles because I enjoy the kids so much. So, a few weeks ago we agreed that for Valentine's day we would do something special for each other. Miles agreed to write me a poem and I agreed to do something to surprise him.

Valentine's day came and went - no poem. I did fulfill my end of the bargain and although I wasn't entirely creative, I think I gave him something he appreciated.

The thing that really bummed me out was that I got no cards from my kids.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

3 In a Row

Amber slept all night again last night. That makes 3 nights in a row. I stopped putting her in the sleep sack and bam, sleeping all night. Maybe she didn't like that thing, or it got too hot? Anyway, keeping my fingers crossed.

Now if we could just get Tyler to go to bed and not wake up at 5:30 every day...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Infant B

Amber moved up to the Infant B room at daycare yesterday. I remember when the boys moved up -- it was dramatic, stressful and final. I couldn't believe they were already ready for the bigger infant room where babies were crawling, pulling themselves up and some were walking! They were eating solid foods and interacting with each other. They were getting ready for the toddler room. I was tearful.

With Amber it was calm, inevitable and celebratory. She's not crawling yet, but she's rolling around to get what she wants. She's sitting and reaching for toys. She's very clear about what she wants and lets you know. She enjoys her friends. She's getting ready for the toddler room. I was joyful.

I think the difference is that I've been through this before. As much as I love each stage, I know what else is coming for her and I'm excited for her. She wants to keep up with her brothers, she wants to be mobile, she wants to stand. She can stand on her own if I pull her up and give her something to hang on to. I've had thoughts of her skipping the crawling stage and going right to walking. It wouldn't surprise me. She watches her brothers and she wants to keep up.

Last night the boys were chasing each other around the kitchen island. I was holding Amber and she was following them with her eyes and giggling and laughing. She would lunge out and I know she wanted to be running around with them.

But this is still bitter sweet. As much as I want her to be able to walk and keep up with the boys, I don't want her to skip her crawling stage. I'm not ready for my last baby to become a toddler. Such mixed feelings, but also excitment about the future. How fun this is getting!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

IVF Memoires

I've started a new blog for all my IVF stories. I decided it would be cleaner that way. All of my friends and new acquaintences that are going through infertility can read the memoires if they're curious to see how my story goes.

I'll keep this blog as I now intend and that is to talk about parenting twins and a singleton only 20 months later.

My new blog name is IVF Memoires. See you there!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Colorado Bloggers

I've joined a blogging group! Yea! Check out the ColoBloggers link to the right, although if you're here, you probably came from there.

I really am not a very eloquant writer. I have many ideas and funny thoughts, but when they get written down here, they just don't flow as well. So, bear with me. I will continue to write about my infertility journey, my IVF journey, my parenting twins journey and my spontaneous, unassisted pregnancy journey. As well as parenting THREE kids - wow, never thought that would happen. And what it's like to go to zone defense after the man-to-man with the twins.

It's fun, way more beautiful and wonderful than I ever imagined. A thought for my new friends that are now going through the IVF process and the agony of the waiting and the shots and the dissapointment and the doctors and the not knowing. For me, it was worth every second of it. And even though the IVF process seems to take sooooo long, especially when you've been wanting this for sooooo long, time really goes sooooo fast. I can't believe that our twins are now 2 (27 months) and our baby girl is 7 months.

More pictures are coming soon, I just haven't had a chance to get new pictures downloaded. Long story, but I've got to reload our picture software.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Infertility Reminders

I've been doing some reading of some new blogs where people are going through IVF. It really is bringing up memories of my own experience, which I wrote down, gasp, in a spiral notebook!

When I started this blog last year, my hope was to transfer those notes into this blog so that I had a record of my experience. It is an amazing procedure and there is an amazing network and group of really good writers - much better than me, that's for sure. I can picture this blog, had I started during my IUI cycles or even starting the IVF process, would just be a list of facts and figures. I really wish, though, that I had started this then. I think it would have really helped to have that community to share stories with. Especially when I was on bedrest!

Anyway, look for my IVF story shortly.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What Are You Doing In Here?!

Yesterday when Amber woke up at 5:30AM, Miles trudged down the hall to get her. As he walked past Tyler's room, his door was open, his light was on. No Tyler. As he got to Amber's room, he realized that Amber's door was open, her light was on. As he walked into her room, he heard, "Hi Daddy!" coming from her crib. Tyler had gotten into her crib with her and was pleased as punch to be there.

We're still not sure who woke up first.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Don't Give Me Excuses, Give Me Results

Trying to figure out how to embed a YouTube video into my blog. We love Madagascar and it is becoming quite the cult film within our family. Lines like, "That's Shackalackin'" and "Don't Give Me Excuses, Give Me Results!" Which I'd love to put in a powerpoint presentation at work...

Enjoy:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Potty Training

I always resigned to myself that since I have boys, they wouldn't want to be potty trained till they were 3. I know this sounds crazy, but the diaper changes aren't really that big of a deal, part of the routine, whatever. Too much going on right now and just easier to put it off and not deal.

I think Cory and Tyler are both ready. But I'm not sure I am! I don't know how to do this!

The story goes like this:

Cory tells me he's having pain while going potty in his diaper. He grabs at his diaper and cries and says, change my diaper. I ask if he wants to sit on the potty and he says yes. We sit, and sit, and sit. He doesn't go, but he wants to. So, I think something might be wrong. We collect some urine* and take it to the Doctor. Perfect, no UTI. Maybe he's ready to use the potty?

Now Tyler is very interested in this process and smiles and giggles and pees in the tub and says, look, I peed in the tub. So now every evening, the boys want to take their clothes off and their diapers and go potty. They've learned how to take off their pants and diapers on their own - not necessarily a good thing! Tyler has been successful several evenings in going pee in the potty. Yea, lots of joyous clapping and good boys!

And now the real hard part. Tyler has always protested naps. Now that he is in a big boy bed, he gets out of bed and creates all sorts of havoc in his room while he's supposed to be sleeping. I've come in to find him completely naked with clean diapers and wipes strewn all over the place. I quietly get him dressed and put him back in bed, but he's managed to be more persistent and patient than me, so has skipped naps the last several days.

Yesterday during nap we let Tyler cry for awhile. He wasn't stopping, so I opened the door to see what was going on. Oh. My. Gosh! Naked boy and Poop all over the place. He had taken off his diaper. Pooped. And then tried to clean himself off. Not good. No nap, plus the commotion got Cory up too. Ugh!

I'm not sure how to deal with this. Guess I need to find a way to keep the diaper on during nap, but doesn't that go away from the potty training idea where they need clothes that are easy to get off? Are they too young to really get it yet?

We bought 2 more potties at my mom's suggestion to put in their rooms, so at least they have a potty to use if they really need to while they're napping. I'm afraid that they may decide that it's more of a toy and tear it all apart, with everything inside, and scatter all over their room. That would be a mess!

So I guess we'll play it by ear. Continue to get them to use the potty as much as possible, but I'm definitely going to do something different at nap time. Maybe I'll have to lay down with Tyler till he goes to sleep...

* This is actually not too hard for a boy. The Dr. gave us a little bag with a hole in it and tape that sticks to him. We stuck it on and he filled the bag. The hard part was getting it off...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Morning Conversation

Tyler, "I have a truck on my pajamas."

Cory, "You have a truck on your pajamas."

Tyler, "You have a truck on your pajamas."

Cory, "No, I don't have a truck on my pajamas. I have a fox on my pajamas."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Be Remarkable

A co-worker of mine, an intern, that is finishing up her semester at CSU, chatted with me briefly about her capstone course she's taking. The professor is inspiring and she's very excited about it. One thing she shared with me is that he talks about being remarkable, not perfect. Don't focus on the memorization, the tests, the studying. Figure out what you want to get out of it, and be remarkable.

Yea, be remarkable. I like it.

I Want to, I Will...

I read this post about whymommy going into surgery today to fight her inflammatory breast cancer. I can't stop thinking about her and I don't even know her. I haven't even really kept up with her blog, although I do recall reading some of it awhile ago. I love the internet and this blogging phenomenon. People's stories are so inspiring. And there are so many good writers out there! (me, not so much, sorry)

So, this is what I want...
I want to be a better friend
I want to be a better daughter
I want to be a better wife
I want to be a better mom
I want to be a better writer so I can write inspiring stories and meet more inspiring women
I want to be a better blogger and commenter
I want to delurk on more sites that I read so often, but don't have the nerve to comment

Who would have thought that the internet could do so much? Thank you internet, thank you friends, thank you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Stock Show

We had the day off work today, Monday, MLK day. Ever since I can remember when I was a kid, I went to the National Western Stock Show with my 4-H group and then with family or friends. I have such fond memories of walking around seeing all the trade show exhibits, animals, cowboys, horse shows, etc. One of my dreams, other than owning a horse property, is to show my horse at the stock show. I'm hoping one day I can do that.

I've also been wanting to take the boys to the Stock Show ever since they were born. They've just been too little until now, at 27 months, I thought that this would be the year to start. Amber is still a little too young. She would have missed her morning nap and had to sit in her car seat the whole time. I didn't think she'd have that much fun, so we took her to daycare and headed down to Denver on a 13 degree, snowy day. I'm so glad we did.

We saw goats, llamas, pigs, and ducks at the petting zoo. We saw a bunch of tractors and I wasn't sure who had more fun sitting on them, Dad, or the boys. We saw a big (no, huge) longhorn bull that had rings in its nose and kids were sitting on to get their picture. We had a yummy barbecue lunch. And then we saw the horses.

It was a quick trip, but I hope a trip that inspires 4-H and FFA in our kids. Next year Amber will get to go. I can't wait.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Um, a Clarification, or an Addition

After re-reading my previous post, I felt that, wow, that sounds trite, selfish, etc. Even though I'm the only one reading my blog, my attempt at brevity made me sound um, selfish. Especially after I read one of my favorite bloggers' post about her real estate challenges. So, I need to add something to my below post to help frame things a bit more. Which was what I had intended to do since starting this blog in November last year.

The only way we've been able to pull off our 'investment' is becuase my parents, wonderful grandparents, have retired and moved into the existing house on our property. Not only that, they are helping us greatly financially by providing day care for our kids 3 days a week. And I agreed to go back to work full time instead of part time and I agreed to go back to work 2 months earlier than originally planned. And, we decided that we needed to diversify our retirement investments out of our company's stock. (Both Miles and I work at the same company) into a more varied portfolio. But now we're almost all into real estate, so hmmm, maybe not 100% sound.

But, it does fulfill my lifelong dream of living on my own horse property so that I can have a horse (or two?) on my own property.

So, there will be a lot more posts about the 'farm' and our process of building a new house this year. And know that I am grateful every day for us to be able to fulfill this dream.

Peace.

One Step Closer

Last year was a crazy year. We closed on a 7 acre property with the intent to build a new house the day before Amber was born. I had to sign a power of attorney for Miles in case I wasn't going to be there for the signing. I think Amber wanted that property as much as I did. Visions of horses and 4-H and space and close to work and retirement and not working, etc.

We knew it would be a lot of work and we knew that it would take some time. The property is in the county, but borders the city. In order to build a house, we would have to sub-divide. In order to sub-divide, we would have to annex. This whole process could take months to a year. During the time we were working on our annexation, our land attorney pointed out that there was a glitch on the original sub-division that would prevent us from building our dream house. No big deal, but added several more months to our ordeal.

So yesterday, the city had the public hearing where our project was brought forth to the community. There were several neighbors that came to hear what our plans were and to ask a few questions. Turns out they were more interested to hear what the city had planned for this area. It is in a really hot growth area for the city and people don't want to see those horse properties go. I don't blame them and I'm hoping that our project will set a precedent and the development that happens on these few precious lots stays urban estate with horses. Time will tell.

In the meantime, we've passed our annexation hurdle and we're on to the sub-division. We have a lot of work to do and we have to find a builder, but it feels like we're now actually making some progress.

Maybe we'll be in our new house by Christmas. (maybe...)

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Trip to ND

I know it's now mid-January, but I've been wanting to recount the debacle that was our trip to ND for Christmas. The day after Christmas, precisely. I should have had an hour by hour update of the whole thing while it was unfolding, but I'll try to describe it in as few words as possible now. But let me first say how proud I was of the boys. They were, for the most part, perfectly behaved and utterly amazing! Let me also say that we paid a LOT of money for our seats. We bought tickets for the boys. We decided to go anyway because we really want the boys to know their paternal grandparents as much as possible. We are not sure how much longer we will get to see them.

Airport - BIG airport (DIA) with 2 two-year olds and a baby. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:40PM, so we planned to get to the airport by 10:30AM, plenty of time to get through the airport with good weather and no flight delays (contrasted to the year before when there was 3 feet of snow on the ground). We were flying a very small airline, so knew there would be no line at the ticket counter where we were checking 8 pieces of luggage. We parked at an outlying parking lot and took the shuttle with our 8 pieces (oh wait, make that 6 pieces) of check-in and 4 carry-ons. (The boys each had their own backpacks with some toys, water bottles (empty, of course until we got past security), and their DeeDees). We get all our stuff off the shuttle bus, make our way to the ticket counter, when all of a sudden (deer in headlights look), I realized that we had forgotten the boys CAR SEATS!!! We only have a car on the other end and a small airport that we know won't have car seats for rent. These boys are 2 - they need their car seats! So, we drop off all our stuff and Miles heads back to the car (30 mins. of shuttle riding) to get the car seats.

Meanwhile the boys, Amber and I all hang out in a big corner and make the most of it. This is one of those times I was smiling and so happy that the boys understood their boundaries - they must stay on the carpeted area. They were great!

Miles gets back about 25 minutes later (he hit the shuttle's perfectly) with the 2 car seats. Now we have 8 pieces of luggage to check. We make it through security after filling about 10 buckets of stuff, from all of our shoes, to the Baby Bjorn (which I never used) to Amber's infant seat to backpacks, etc. etc.

We walked to concourse A (in Denver you can walk over a walkway to get to A gates, or you can take the train, we opted for the walk). Once at our gate, we checked in to get our seat assignments. Sorry Thorlands, we have no seats for you and this is our last flight out for the day. No other airline goes to Williston, ND. Oh, and by the way, all your bags AND CAR SEATS are on the plane that just left to Williston. You are stuck here with no clothes, no extra infant formula, no diapers and you must STAY THE NIGHT in DENVER! What!!! ok, after the shock wore off and we realized what was happening to us, we were able to let the airline hand us our fate. One night at the Double Tree, 4 dinner coupons and 4 vouchers for $300 each off our next flight. Oh, and a guarantee on the first flight out the next day.

We gather our belongings, 3 kids with no naps and head back up to the shuttle stop area for our ride to the hotel. A little lighter since all we have are our carry-ons. Once checked in, Miles had to leave and make a one mile walk to the nearest Wal-Mart to get formula and diapers while I try to get them to take a quick nap. Ha, yea right. No naps for this weary crew. So when Miles gets back we have some play time with our McDonald's Bionacles and then head down to dinner.

Dinner was probably the worst part of it all. The boys were loud, messy, squirmy, typical 2 year olds. It seemed like an eternity before our food arrived. Once the food came, they were pretty well behaved and sat down to eat. Interesting that the airline gave us $10 each for dinner, but the cheapest thing on the menu was spaghetti for $14. After we finished eating, the kids had enough, so I headed up to the room with them and Miles stayed behind to pay.

Not much to do in a hotel room with 3 kids, no clothes (or swimming suits), so we decided since no one had any naps that we would try to get everyone to bed early. We got Amber ready and then put her down in her crib. We then all went into the bathroom to get the boys a bath. We thought this would be a good way to pass some time. After baths, everyone hopped into bed. Amber woke up, would not go back to sleep, so I brought her into bed with me. Cory and Tyler were not going to sleep in the bed with Daddy, so I brought Cory into bed with me as well. I never sleep well with the kids in bed with me - I'm so afraid of hurting the baby, or of someone falling off. But, we did manage to get some sleep.

Next morning we got up, headed down to Starbucks to get coffee and a danish, and quickly got our stuff ready for the shuttle ride to the airport. Oh, and now it is snowing. Hard. We get to the airport and check-in and the ticket agent says, 'We don't have seats confirmed for you'. What!? ok, I'm about to lose it. I told them they had better get us on that flight. We have 2 toddlers and a baby and have been trying to leave for 24 hours now! You don't have seats?! Well, you better find them, quick! I don't care what you have to do to get them.

I'm not sure what happened, but that lady was on the phone with the people down at the gate and they miraculously found us 4 seats. Ugh. Meanwhile, the boys had pulled out all of the brochures from a little stand selling their frequent flyer program.

We went through the security hassle again (10 buckets of stuff) and this time took the train to our gate. We got to the gate and realized how hard it really is snowing and were told that they weren't sure when/if this flight was actually going to take off. I walked Amber around in the stroller to try to get her to sleep while Miles chased the boys up and down the concourse. Luckily everyone had pretty good senses of humor and we got a lot of winks, smiles and sympathetic looks from other travellers that were also waiting for flights to leave. We sat in the airport for 3 extra hours and finally were told that we could board the plane. Hooray, progress!

We got on the plane, taxied down the runway, got de-iced and off we went. The flight itself was uneventful. Boys were pretty good and Amber slept a little bit. Once we got to Williston we had a wonderful welcoming committee by Miles sister, niece and nephew. His sister let us borrow her mini-van for the 45 minute drive down to his parent's house in his tiny home town in Western North Dakota.

As we started on our drive down, the traveling had taken its toll on everyone. Tyler and Amber fell asleep and Cory sat there with his fingers in his mouth saying, "go home", "go home". Tears welled up in my eyes because I knew how he felt and knew that we were going on to even newer and stranger things.

Once we got there, everyone perked up and had a wonderful time. It was a great trip and everyone did very well. There wasn't much napping, but they slept ok and had fun with everyone while we were there. I'm glad we got the chance to see everyone and hope we're able to do it again. We've got discounted tickets after all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Lefty?


I've been noticing lately that Cory uses his left hand to eat. I really haven't paid much attention to this in the past and I'm not sure when kids establish their dominate hand, but I find it interesting. I'm not even sure if he uses his left hand for drawing or for other things, but I'm going to start paying more attention.


I remember growing up that being a lefty was not a good thing. At least that's what I was told. That they had to have special scissors to cut things and they couldn't fit into society as well. I know that is a bunch of cr**, but I wonder if there truly is discimination out there based on which hand we use?


Anyway, I think lefty's are more right brained, right? More creative than analytical. I know he is very bright and has a huge vocabulary that started very early. He amazes me at the sentences he can put together, like "Can I have some of mommy's bagel with peanut butter on it?"


What a doll. I can't describe how much I love each of these kids. They melt my heart.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sleep Update

We haven't gotten that much sleep this week, but each night seems to get better. I keep thinking about all the blogs I've read where moms and dads talk about sleep and the lack of it with babies and toddlers in the house. I'm certainly not alone in this! There are some really good posts about sleep from other bloggers. Mimi, The New Girl, Bub and Pie, and another one I just can't find right now.

Tyler now doesn't complain about the fox in his room, thank goodness, but he still won't go to sleep without one of us laying down with him. When he was in his crib, I usually let him cry for a bit and then he would eventually fall asleep. How I loved the hour or so after everyone was in bed. I could actually have some alone time to do whatever I wanted! Now this laying down with Tyler stuff cuts into that time and I don't like it!

Monday night was rough. Amber wasn't feeling well, so for the first time in her entire 6 month life, she cried a lot of the night. I couldn't seem to console her. So, since Tyler needed someone to lay down with him, Miles kept him occupied and I did what I could for Amber. She finally went to sleep at midnight. Woke up at 3, I gave her a bottle and then she proceeded to cry. (She usually goes right back to sleep if I give her a bottle in the night.) I gave her some Motrin in case she was teething or that her stuffy nose was causing an ear ache or some other ache. But she still cried. I eventually turned off the monitor and fell asleep. I'm not sure how long she cried. I don't like that either!

Tuesday morning at least was a little later than usual. Tyler came into our room to get us up about 6:30. Amber and Cory still slept. And Cory - bless that little guy. He is our sleeper. He never complains, he goes right to bed and lays there quietly until he falls asleep. He wakes up late and sometimes I even have to get him up so that we can get dressed and eat before I have to leave. I feel bad that I don't talk about him as much because he is such a great sleeper! I've got other topics for him, though!

Amber slept much better the last few nights. I think she was just coming down with a cold and was uncomfortable Monday night. She's back to her normal routine of waking up only once a night. Once she gets feeling better, I plan to start weaning her off that middle of the night feeding, but for now, once a night is doable.

So, back to Tyler. How do I get him to stay in his bed? I've tried not saying anything to him and just keep putting him back in his bed. I'm not sure how long it would go on, but he just keeps getting up. I tried threatening putting him back in his crib (which is still set up in his room), and then following through. But, he just climbs right out of his crib now. I've tried laying on the floor next to his bed with the intent of getting a little further away each night, but he still complains and will come down and sleep on the floor with me. The only thing that seems to work right now is laying down with him.

Our next steps: We're going to try putting the gate up at his door, hopefully he won't try to climb over it or pull it down. If that doesn't work, we are planning to turn the lock around on his door and lock him in. Does this sound horrible?

Anyway, we've got to get through this because I want my one hour back!