About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Approaching The End of Diapers

A few weeks ago Leila started to want to have no diaper on. This is fine, of course, if she is going to do her business in the potty and not just on the floor. We started putting her on the potty and then letting her go without a diaper. I wasn't expecting anything miraculous. She is, after all, only 19 months old. But, to our surprise, when she would sit on the potty, she would almost always make something happen (even if it was only two dribbles). This indicated she clearly understood what was supposed to happen when she got on the potty! Yippee!

More and more naked time around the house ensued. We saw a definite uptick in accidents if she was wearing anything on her bottom, ie pants, a buttoned onesie, a sleeper. She was telling us when she needed to go potty and even learned to hold herself up while she was sitting on the potty.

And then we had guests in the house for Thanksgiving. I felt like it was a little less appropriate to have her naked bootie wandering around and so I pulled out the training undies, fully expecting a bunch of accidents. But it seems as though, she is moving quickly to understanding that pee and poop should happen in the potty! Huzzah!!! Just today she has alerted us everytime she needs to use the potty and made it in plenty of time to do her business.

It seems so sudden. I have to keep reminding myself that we possibly have months of accidents and back and forth about this, but then I think of missTalia who basically potty learned by herself, in less than a month. I'm pretty sure that, to avoid confusion, we are going to have to switch to undies all the time, even when we are out. Because in my experience, Elie is my data point on this one, that if switching back and forth is done, then it is easy for the kiddo to be confused and can really draw out the process. But for now, right now, today, missNoodle is downstairs in her requested undies and loving being a big-girl!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food, I love being together as a family and I love how it is simply about giving thanks and being together. However, it is almost impossible for us to travel during Thanksgiving. It is only four days off AND paying for six plane tickets is unreasonable for four days. So, for the most part, unless we've done something within driving distance, Thanksgiving has been a nuclear family holiday for us.

This year Adam's counsins asked if they could come visit us! What fun! Then our very close friends decided they couldn't swing a trip out west as they usually do and so they were going to be around. Adam's dad was also around and so he joined us, sharing his amazing talent for making Amazing desserts! End result was we had a bunch of people over for a marvelous, huge, delicious and thanksgiving filled day.

"I hear a ding-dong." - Talia
"You do? What does it mean?" - Me
"When I hear a ding-dong it means that our guests will have arrived!" - Talia

With four kiddos and the start of germy season as school, we had the chance of having a sick kiddo. And we did. Poor Talia got a fever Tuesday night and has had it since. Thankfully with some modern chemistry working for us, she felt mostly decent. It would have been much nicer if everyone had felt 100%, but at least we didn't have to cancel.

Last week Elie brought home, from school, a very cute project idea for thumbprint turkey placecards. She asked if we could make them and I said sure. On Saturday she sat down, wrote a list of who was going to be here and proceeded to create 13 super cute thumbprint turkey placecards! She did it all by herself and did a lovely job. It definitely added to the festive feeling of our table.

I tried to make life a bit less hectic by making a bunch of stuff on Wednesday. It really did help. Thursday felt like constant work, but it wasn't crazy and there was plenty of time to visit and even a little time to relax.

Dinner was amazing. Everyone contributed something and we all enjoyed the fruits of our labor. Of course, the kids didn't want to eat much. It was all too exciting. Isaac had been telling me for weeks that he wasn't going to eat Turkey because he doesn't like it. I don't actually know if he ended up eating any or not. Adam and I decided ahead of time that we weren't going to worry about what they ate. It worked out just fine.

It was a marvelous Thanksgiving, full of reasons why we should give thanks. And for that I am thankful!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

T is for Talia

When Elie and Isaac were about 15 months old, they became obsessed with books. Anytime anyone sat down, they wanted you to read to them. They would sit and look at books for quite a while on their own. We would read the same books, over and over and over and over to them, until we were sick and tired of reading them. Talia, however, was a different duck. She never did get interested in books. Oh, she'd semi-sit through reading them, but she wasn't ever paying really close attention. And when asked what she'd like to do, she almost never picked reading a story.

I was a bit concerned. Maybe I didn't read enough to/around her. Maybe I wasn't doing everything I could to encourage a love of reading. I just wasn't sure what to do. Finally, when she was around two, books became more interesting. They still weren't her top pick, but she was starting to be able to sit through, and pay attention to, the picture books that Elie and Isaac liked to listen to when they were her age.

Now, finally, that is what she WANTS to do. She will pick five or six of them and we'll sit down and read them all at once. I can never read to that child too much. And she will become obsessed with a book and then we read it over and over and over again, until Mommy and Daddy have to veto reading it one more time.

So, when her teacher Morah. C. told Adam at the parent/teacher conference that she still couldn't identify her own name, I got a little concerned. She wasn't all that interested in books and so maybe now she's not so interested in reading, I thought. But, it turns out she's really interested and so lately we've been working a bit more dilligently on learning letters and finding them in what we read.

It's so complicated and difficult to judge, what is normal for one child, may not be for another. Does it mean they are less intelligent? That we've somehow screwed up as parents? I guess that's my paranoia; that somehow, some choice I make along the way will prevent my child from being as happy, successful, intelligent, loving a person as they could be. I think I'm going to have to learn to put that away and take heart in the fact that I'm doing the best job I possibly can, with what I have. But for now, I'm just going to take heart in the fact that MissLulu loves to read and is learning her letters.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sewing the Seeds

This summer Elie and I were in a JoAnn Fabric store and saw that they offer sewing classes for kids! She was so excited about it and so was I. We talked about doing something like that for her and the others at home. Finally, last week, we pulled out the fabric and the patterns and we cut out and sewed some pajama pants, out of flannel, for the older three!

We had such a good time! They pinned and cut (with help of course). We used the rotary cutter because the scissors were too big for their little hands. The rotary cutter was even a little difficult, but like all new skills, will get better with practice. Then we read the instructions and sewed!

I let Elie and Isaac sit and use the sewing machine by themselves, while I stood by and helped out from the side. Getting the foot pedal to the proper height was an adventure, but we figured it out. As expected, Elie was very good at keeping the machine to a slow and steady speed, but Isaac was a bit of a wild-man. They each did a GREAT job of feeling the machine and letting it do some of the work while guiding the fabric through. Talia sat in my lap while I pushed the pedal and she helped me guide the fabric.

Of course, Talia did loose interest about halfway through. Then Isaac peeled off for a while and then came back. But Elie stuck with me the whole time! (Of course, all of that is completely age appropriate.) It was so much fun, I want to do another project with them. They loved the outcome and each have been enjoying wearing their pajama pants (every night!).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Presence of Presents

Last night, the tooth-fairy put a note under Elie's pillow. It said that the cat was chasing her and prevented her from leaving a present and taking the tooth. Tonight she'll be back to make the trade. She also left the dollar coin because she was feeling guilty and ill prepared. (No wait, that's me....)

In this house, the tooth-fairy leaves presents and not (usually) money. When I was growing up our tooth fairy also left presents. It was a tradition that was different and personal and so it is one that this tooth-fairy has chosen to continue. It was something that always made the tooth-fairy exciting and interesting. We never knew what we'd find under our pillows. It is possible that our tooth-fairy didn't want to pay us for something that happened naturally. Or that our tooth-fairy liked to spoil us, just a bit. Or that our tooth-fairy felt like everyone did money and that she (they) wanted there to be a different focus on loosing teeth. I don't really know.

I do know that this tooth-fairy likes the present idea for all those reasons, and possibly more. I scrambled and saved the play this time. I found some little toys that I think Elie will love. And tonight, while she is dreaming her sweet dreams, Adam and I will gently reach under her pillow. We will slide out the envelope, that she decorated and wrote her note on, and leave her some surprises.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tooth Fairy-ness

Yesterday:


Today:

Notice what happened between yesterday and today? Yes, that's right, Elie got dressed. Oh, no? That's not it? Okay, okay. She lost her first tooth EVER!

She actually had three loose teeth (before this one fell out) and we'd been getting regular wiggly-tooth updates. I was sure we had another week or so before any of them fell out,but I wanted to make sure we caught a picture of her before she lost any teeth. So last night Adam took a picture of her pretty, baby-teeth-filled smile.

Then today she came home and said that it was really wiggly. I told her that I'd give pulling it a try, if she wanted. I grabbed a tissue and wrapped it around the tooth and POP! out it came. There was a very tiny bit of blood and it took very little force, so I'm sure that it was ready. She was really excited and, I have to admit, so was I.

But there is one little, eensy-weensy problem. The tooth-fairy wasn't prepared. And the tooth-fairy's partner in crime is out of town this evening. Uhhhh....crap. I tried to prepare Elie for the idea that maybe the tooth fairy wouldn't be coming the first night. She didn't take it that well.

I've since devised another plan involving leaving a glitter filled note and a scagawea dollar, thereby buying me time to get a tooth-fairy gift tomorrow. I hope it works because it would SUCK to ruin the magic this early in our tooth-fairy careers. I've got three more kids to get through.....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crib-less

Leila is still nowhere near to sleeping through the night. It has gotten a little tiresome. She is almost 19 months now and I'm ready for it. She was waking up and calling "mama, mama, mama" for me from her crib. Sometimes it took longer for me to wake up than others, but once I did, I'd go in, get her and bring her into bed with us. We all were sleeping fairly well and she was getting what she seemed to need.

Adam and I had a discussion about how best to encourage her to sleep through the night. I am totally fine with the idea of just patting her back to sleep when she wakes up but we have one really big problem. She will. not. go back to sleep if it is Mommy that comes in to pat her. When Adam goes in, she cries briefly and goes back to sleep. When Mommy goes in, she cries and cries and cries and cries and cries. It's not pretty.

I finally decided that she, clearly, still needs the nighttime nursing, but I'm tired of retrieving her from her crib in the middle of the night. So, on Friday I took apart her crib. The intent was that I would nurse her to sleep while laying with her on her mattress, then in the night when she woke up, she could just walk into our room and get us.

The first night, I barely slept until she came wandering in. I just kept imagining her wandering downstairs or getting lost in the house or hurting herself accidentally or countless other highly improbable scenarios where she ended up hurt/upset. The second night I dozed until she walked in and last night I actually slept until she showed up. Then I scooped her up, brought her into bed with us, nursed her, and we both went back to sleep.

I'm not really sure how this is going to help her sleep through the night, but it has already made a difference in what time she was first waking up. It does seem weird though, and maybe a little sad, to be done with the crib for the last time.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Last night we participated in the annual walk-around-the-neighborhood-and-ask-people-for-candy-while-dressed-up-in-funny-costumes tradition, also known as trick-or-treat. The kids had a great time and we got PLENTY of candy even though we were only out for about half an hour or so. Leila was confused and not a big fan (of course, it was past bedtime and she was tired) and everyone else had a great time. No one liked the *scary* houses and we tried to avoid them. We had a flamingo, a scuba diver, a "white fairy that flies up to the sky" and a CareBear (who wouldn't wear her hat *shrug*). I bet you can tell which is which. ;-)