Thursday, December 30, 2010

A year in review - 2010

January 2010

Peanut started crawling and getting into trouble

But he is so darn cute, it didn't matter

Little Man decided he was a superhero

February 2010

We had a blizzard with snow taller than Little Man

Little Man was a daredevil sledder

Peanut started cruising (walking while holding onto something)

March 2010

Peanut turned 1

Little Man turned 3

April 2010

Little Man took to the stage

Peanut and the mashed potatoes had a disagreement

May 2010

We went to the Outer Banks and got some brotherly love

Peanut took his first steps

June 2010

We took some baths in the baby pool

and put Peanut to work

While Little Man went back to the stage (as one of the next Village People)

July 2010

Celebrated July 4th with some good friends

which was fun but exhausting

and brought on some more brotherly love

August 2010

Little Man started gymnastics and loved it

We went to the farm/zoo and fed pigs

and feeding the animals brought on even more brotherly love

September 2010

We spent some time with special people

and got a little furry

before our first day of 3's preschool

October 2010

Sweet Pea was born and met her brothers

Meet Sweet Pea

Cutest elephant stampede ever

November 2010

1 month old

Trimmed the Tree

Too cool for school

December 2010

Rode the Santa Train

Sweet Pea took her first bottle

Decorated Santa Cookies

2 months old

Rode that horse all the way to 2011

Monday, December 27, 2010

Life with 3 Kids

A friend of mine asked me what life is like with 3 kids and I smiled and said the easy answer, "busy, but lots of fun" and while that is very true it leaves out a lot. It leaves out the messes and the tears, both mine and the kids when we are overwhelmed. It leaves out the snugs and the heartfelt yells of joy. People say, "wow, you must be tired" and they have no idea what tired is. Tonight as I was thinking about my answer to my friend and what I wish I could convey, I wrote this:

It’s 11:00pm and I climb the steps to my room with a weariness that is set deep in my bones. My eyes feel glued open and my brain is not functioning properly. Thoughts come slowly and all I can think about is throwing myself into bed and snuggling into my wonderful cloud of a mattress. The children were all asleep by 8:30 but that is not when my day ends. That is when I try to write a few policies for a client, get caught up on email, clean the house, write thank you notes and the list goes on and on. My brain is buzzing from the busy parts of my day and filling with the must do lists of tomorrow as I reach the stop of the stairs. There are 3 closed doors that despite my exhaustion draw me from my thoughts of my bed. I go into each room where my beautiful children are sleeping. I adjust covers, kiss foreheads and replace binkies to be within reach. I stand and I breathe in the same air they are breathing and feel comforted and rejuvenated. I close the doors and walk toward my room and while I am still tired and happy to be going to bed, my weariness isn’t the same. I go into my room and smile as I turn on each child’s monitor so that I can keep tabs on them and know they are resting peacefully. I get ready for bed and lay down in bed and it is now 11:20, time to sleep – if I go to sleep now I might get 7 hours of sleep. I turn to Papa Bear and we talk about the funny things that the kids did, the things that we need to get or do for them in the coming days, our concerns, our joys. It is now 11:45. Tomorrow I will get to bed before 11:00 I promise myself and then I turn off the lights and know that I won’t get to bed when I want to and that I will drag myself up the steps the next night just as bone tired but there will be three closed doors at the top of those stairs and behind those 3 closed doors are my reasons for living, my life and I won’t feel quite as tired anymore. That is what it is like to have 3 kids, to have 3 awesome reasons for pulling myself up out of exhaustion or self-pity or weariness and being thankful for what lies behind their 3 closed bedroom doors.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Morning 2010

Christmas morning went off without a hitch. The boys were up early and we delayed them upstairs as long as we could so that Papa Bear and I could wake up and shower and get ready for the day knowing we wouldn't make it back upstairs for a while. We got Mee-Mom on skype set up to view the shenanigans and then let them come down the steps. Peanut kept saying Santa over and over as we went down the steps and Little Man immediately ran to see if there was a pogo stick waiting for him under the tree. He couldn't find it right away and seemed disappointed for a second and then he ran to see if Santa had eaten the cookies that were left for him. Having found them gone he knew that Santa had come and interpreted the thank you note that Santa left as "Dear Little Man, I brought it" so he ran back to the tree determined to find it. And of course, it was there to be found. We opened gifts for a few hours, playing with each one if we could and taking breaks for breakfast and snacks. Sweet Pea made it downstairs to see the tree and then promptly took a nap that lasted through breakfast. We were all a little spoiled by Santa and really enjoyed playing and spending time together. Naps were had by us all followed by our second annual Prime Rib Christmas dinner. (Little Man had pasta but Peanut insisted on having the meat - much to Papa Bear's and my chagrin at having to share our prime rib with our 21 month old! What can we say, he has discerning taste.) Dinner was followed by gourmet candy apples. Peanut licked and chewed on his, happy as a clam but not making much progress while Little Man opted to have his cut up so he could actually eat it. Then baths were had by all! The kids were exhausted from a day of fun and went nicely off to bed so Papa Bear and I could relax together. Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!

We are trying to upload a video of the kids coming down the stairs, but it isn't working so well so we will leave you with some pictures of the candy apple ordeal!

Christmas Eve 2010

Christmas Eve with a 3 1/2 year old, a 1 1/2 year old and a 2 month old involved activities at varying degrees of difficulty and careful planning. In other words, we had a ton of fun planned and winged it and it all worked out really well!

We baked and decorated sugar cookies for Santa. Little Man did a great job of using the cookie cutters to get the shapes and an amazing job doing the decorating. I thought for sure that he would get bored or tired of decorating (I know I do) and would only do a few, but he lasted until the very end. I did miscalculate in one very specific area. Little Man does not get much sugar. In fact, a typical treat for him will be one cookie or 3 M & M's or 1 hershey kiss. So I wasn't paying attention and every time we had a broken cookie, I split it with him. On top of multiple broken cookies and some icing and sprinkles that disappeared into this mouth - he had to taste the final product like any good chef should. The result was a very hyper Little Man. He was talking a mile a minute and finally looked at me and said "Mama, I just can't stop talking. I just can't and I talk and I talk and I talk." Note for next year: keep track of the cookies ingested in the cookie making process!!!

Little Man got to pick out his favorite 4 cookies to put on a plate for Santa and along with a glass of milk - they were put on the fireplace for Jolly Old Saint Nick. The boys also went outside just before bed to sprinkle the magic reindeer food we had made for Rudolph. Peanut was a little confused and thought the reindeer food was for him to eat but once we showed him the concept of sprinkling it on the lawn he went with the little for the reindeer, little for me concept. It was made up of uncooked oatmeal and colored sugar so I guess it couldn't hurt him.

Note the left over reindeer food on his face!

The kids were all tucked snug in their beds by 7:30 and Papa Bear and I put our finishing touches to the house and waited for Santa to do his thing while we watched a movie while snug in our bed.

It was the most perfect Christmas Eve ever!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sweet Pea Moments - 2 Months

In all of the holiday fun, Sweet Pea's special moments haven't been making it onto the blog as often as I would like. She is our little angel and is growing like a weed. At her 8 week mark, we packed up her 0-3 month clothes and pulled out our 3-6 months wardrobe for her. Since we know that she is going to be our last baby this has been especially hard for me. I am not ready for her to get bigger and move out of the infant phase. However, I LOVE dressing her in the fun girl clothes and putting together the adorable outfits that we have. That is a big difference with the boy and girl clothes, there are actual outfits where the pants and the shirt and a hat all coordinate confusing Papa Bear considerably.

Sweet Pea is giving us smiles a plenty these days. When I go and get her from her crib she gives me cheesy open mouthed smiles just at the sight of me. Little Man has made it his life's goal to get her to smile for him. He dances and sings and coos to her to coax a smile and when he gets one from her he announces it as if he has won a medal. And honestly, it kind of feels like that.

Sweet Pea is holding her head up well but still doesn't get any tummy time due to her enthusiastic brothers and spends most of her awake time in my arms. She protests her swing and bouncy seat these days preferring to be held sitting up in my arms so she can watch everything that is going on.

She is in a growth spurt at the moment so she is eating more frequently and waking up a few more times at night. Currently she goes down for bed around 8 and wakes up once around 1 or 2 and then again around 5 or 6. I am hoping that once this growth spurt ends she will go back to sleeping through the night.

All in all, the last 2 months have been a blur of cuddles, rocking, coos and smiles mixed in with some colic crying which we are truly hoping will end soon.

We will have her 2 month stats when we got to the doctor in a week or so.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Uncle Mark Surprise!

Today was supposed to be a great day. Today was supposed to be our Christmas with Mee-Mom. Today turned out to be much better than just a great day. Today turned out to be our Christmas with Mee-Mom AND my brother, Uncle Mark!!!

So a little background....Uncle Mark and his wife, Tita Michelle moved to Italy about a year ago and haven't been back to the States since. We get to occasionally skype but with work schedules, nap schedules and a time difference we just don't get a lot of face time. About a month ago my brother asked me what I wanted him to get me for Christmas and I said that I didn't want anything if he couldn't be here to give it to me. (I know that makes me sound rather petulant, but I miss my brother dearly) Well I got my Christmas present!!!

Mee-Mom came in as she normally would and greeted the kids and then told me that I had a Christmas present outside. I opened the door and there was my brother walking down the street towards my house. I spun in a circle not knowing what direction to go in and then ran without any shoes through the snow to give him a huge hug. I would never cry happy tears all over his shoulder because that would be a bit much for my tough guy brother...except that is exactly what I did. I blame the hormones.

The rest of the day went by way too quickly. I kept thinking about how crazy it was that my brother, who is supposed to be in Italy, was actually sitting there playing with my kids. That was the best part. Just watching my children enjoy him so much. Little Man took to him like he had just seen him yesterday and Peanut hugged on him and loved on him as if he had been seeing him every day of his life. Sweet Pea even graced him with one of her beautiful smiles upon meeting him for the first time and again when he was holding her. They knew he was their uncle, their family and that he loves them ferociously.

We had the best low key day ever. Giving the kids their presents from Mee-Mom and Mommom (they were so spoiled) and watching Peanut get so excited over every little thing. He is really a joy to give a gift too because he could be unwrapping an empty box and he would act like it was a million dollars. He gave us an awesome happy dance and entertained us for hours. The boys jumped on and climbed on Uncle Mark giving Mee-Mom a well needed respite from some of their overeager attentions and Uncle Mark ate it all up. I could just see us both taking in every moment he had with the kids and storing up all the memories to last us until next time. The only thing that could have made this Christmas better is if Tita Michelle could have come too. Maybe next Christmas I can be even more greedy and ask for them both to be my gift!!!

Peanut Love!

Peanut Kisses

Best Buds!

He told her she is never allowed to date!

Playing Angry Birds on the Ipad (Little Man was really good!)

I don't feel like I am doing this wonderful day enough credit in my writing. There was just so many awesome things about today. I haven't laughed as much or as hard as I did today in a long time. I can't believe how the day flew by. I wish it could have lasted longer but I really feel like we made memories today to last us until we get to see him again.

Last note on a very long post - this is my 100th post of 2010!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Growing up already

Sweet Pea moved into her own room last night. She was ready. I was not.

She had been sleeping in her Amby bed on my side of the room since she came home from the hospital. I could sit up at night and get a quick peek at her and if she needed to eat, I could just grab her and feed her in my bed and then return her to her bed easily. She has only woken up once a night since coming home from the hospital and she was moving that wake up time later and later into the morning so I knew it was time. I knew we had come to that special time where we could make the easy transition from our room to her crib and I couldn't risk missing that window. But I wanted to miss that window, oh how so much of me really wanted to close that window. I was not ready.

She was. So last night we laid her down to sleep in her bed and she looked so tiny. She only took up this itty bitty part of the crib and it made me want to scoop her up and bring her back to my room and make her stay itty bitty forever. She did great. She slept all night and I had to wake her up at 8am. I missed her but it seemed that she liked her space and slept better in her room without the noises of the boy's monitors and Papa Bear's snoring.

One milestone among many that will be celebrated for the accomplishment even if I am not ready to see my little girl grow up.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Enjoying the Holly Days!!

We packed today as full as we could of holiday fun in all of the right ways. Tons of fun, sugar, Santa, friends, cookies, family and no stress!!!

This morning we loaded up the diaper bag with snacks and headed out to the Santa Train. This is a VRE Christmas train ride for kids. The train pulled up to the station with Santa driving the train and waving to everyone. Little Man's eyes were as big as saucers as he watched Santa drive that train!! Then we boarded and got to take what turned out to be about 90 minutes of a train ride. We think Santa might have fallen off the train or something because we were stopped there for about 20 minutes without explanation. Little Man had his head pressed so hard against the window that he had a red mark on his forehead and there was a little foggy spot right where his mouth was hanging open in awe. He stared out that window watching things go by with such awe and enthusiasm. Peanut stood up on the seat holding onto the seat in front of him for his preferred vantage point. He wasn't quite as impressed until he got a candy cane from one of Santa's elves - then he was hooked. He also loved the carolers that came by and relaxed back on Papa Bear for the show. Sweet Pea blessed us by sleeping through the entire train ride and all the way home. We had candy canes, coloring books and cardboard conductor hats given out by elves, Santa and Mrs. Claus (does she have a first name?) came through the train and took pictures and visited with us. Little Man told Santa he wanted a pogo stick and Santa told him ok, but he had to be careful. We actually got to see Santa twice because the train ride ended up being so long. We even got to sit with some friends to be able to combine the train ride and Santa with some visiting, sharing and laughing with friends we don't get to see often.

Then we came home for a quick lunch and naps for Peanut while Little Man and I made molasses sugar cookies and pudding pies. Little Man played while Peanut and Sweet Pea napped. Little Man pretended to be Santa and made me pretend to sleep so that he could drop presents off for me. I would open my eyes and exclaim that whatever it was he left me was exactly what I always wanted. It was cute to see him play "Santa" and see what he expected his Christmas morning to be like. Papa Bear prepared dinner and then after dinner we had good friends come over for desserts. There were 6 kids in the house between our two families and it was boisterous and fun and exactly what the holidays are all about.

I could not describe a more perfect day with my family. Tomorrow we are making more cookies and some reindeer food to deliver to friends and neighbors. I can't wait. I think the best thing about the holidays with young kids is that us old folk get to experience it through their excitement. I was positivly giddy on the train this morning because Little Man's excitement was contagious.