Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Just Can't Help Myself

Almost every night, right before I crawl in bed, I go downstairs and check on Norah and Hazel. I make sure their room is the right temp, that one is not crowding the other in a corner of their crib, and that...well, they're still there. And don't you agree, babies look so much bigger and older when they're sleeping? I can't help but pick each one up and snuggle together in their rocking chair for a few moments before I leave their room. During the day if one or the other isn't hanging out with me in the frontpack, I get NO cuddle time with them. They're at the stage where they have to go, go, go. So, I get my cuddle time with them while they're somewhere off in dreamland.

Like last night, I picked Norah up first and we rocked in the dark. She's our hard sleeper, so she didn't even break in her heavy breathing pattern while I was kissing her cheeks, rubbing noses with her, and smelling her nighttime baby breath. She laid motionless in my arms as I stared at her. "Were you my little Baby A," I whispered as I snuck in for another smooch. To think she was my "head down, bigger baby, solid puncher, photogenic one" just a little over 10 months ago. After about 4 or 5 minutes of rocking, Hazel lifted her head from the crib. As her eyes focused and she saw what was going on, she flashed her intoxicating smile and shook with excitement. That's when I laid Norah back down and switched babies. Except, this time I took Hazel out into our basement living room to snuggle with daddy. Both girls love their daddy, but Hazel shows it more intensely. As soon as she lays her eyes on him she squeaks, smiles, giggles, and shakes her entire body. And that's exactly what she did when she saw him sitting on the couch. She got a few minutes of kisses and hugs from daddy, then she was right back in her crib joining her sister in dreamland.

This bedtime routine has always been my favorite. Even back when Julia was a baby. I think of it as my relaxation session-without the water, bubbles, and candles. Who needs a whirlpool tub when you can get your snuggle on with the last two babies of your family?

My Favorite Singing Artists

video

As you may already know, I love music. If I'm not singing, humming, or beatboxing during the day, I have the radio set to our Christian station from town, or I'm streamlining KTIS on the computer. Julia and Luke have surely inherited/picked up on those traits and seem to be following suit. Grandma Net's Children video songs are often heard flowing from Julia's lips, and Luke's known for singing himself to sleep before naps and bedtime. Here are my favorite artists doing a little acapella.

Hazel's Wordless Wednesday


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Walks

There are few things better than: an early morning pushing/pulling walk with your children, while the sky is cloudless, the sun is warm enough to wear flipflops, capris, and a short sleeved shirt, the birds are serenading you down the sidewalk, and the smell of spring is in the air.

(An early evening walk with daddy down a conservation trail, along side Mallards and sprouting flowers is another.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

That Speedy Grandpa

For some reason, Julia links slow walkers and grandparents together. If you're one, you must be the other.

"Grandma, why are you walking so slow today?" Or, "You're walking faster now, Grandma," are familiar comments heard by her great grandmothers while they're here. These speed related remarks don't surprise me anymore. I just know that she's paying very close attention to these special ladies in her life, and the rate at which they move is of an importance to her.

But today, while she was waiting in her carseat in the Walmart parking lot as I was unbuckling the younger three she said this..which did surprise me:


"Mom, do you see that grandpa over there?" Pointing to somewhere across the lot.

"No I don't hon." I continued strapping Luke into the front of the double stroller.

"MOM! LOOK! He's over there. He's not walking slow. He's walking reeeeeally fast. He's Not Old Yet!"



Well, fabulous! It's nice to know that as long as I keep my speed up, I'll never grow old.

Monday, April 21, 2008

the getaway. and Daughtry

And a great getaway, it surely was. The annual Multiples Convention hosted by the Fargo group was a blast. I can't tell you much of what happened since this years motto was, "What happens in Fargo, stays in Fargo," but I can tell you that the portion of our group that attended this year was roughly 25. And, get this, of those 25, I'm the youngest, and quite possibly the most mellow/laidback/first to bed/first to rise/biggest eater/worst raffle player of them all. I guess the older your twins, triplets, or quads get, the crazier they make you.

And, yes, moments after we arrived to the Ramada, we heard that Chris Daughtry was staying in our hotel. He's touring with Jon Bon Jovi and was opening for him last weekend. I didn't even need to wait in the lobby, like I said I would, in the attempt to meet him. After a few of us dropped our bags off in our room, we bumped into him and his Venti Starbucks drink at our elevator. Oh.my.gosh! Though my words barely made it out of my mouth, I was able to ask for a picture with him. Then we (3 other friends and I) rode the elevator down two floors with him where he got out. I knew you were supposed to come, Lori! I wonder who we'll see next convention? My vote is for Shaq Dieeeesel.

Here is part of the part of our group that made the trip to Fargo this year.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Starstruck

I'm home. But, first things first. Any guesses at who we hung out with shared a floor with over the weekend?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Smooth Sailing

Our day seems to be sailing as smoothly as these bubbles are. Besides the fact that the top of my "Remember to..." list reads "ready the ipod" but our Ipod seems to be stuck on the 14th second of Brandon Heath's Simple Man track. I realllly wanted to convert our Skillet cd onto it for my big weeken. Other than that, we've had a pretty bumpless day.


My MIL stayed the night last night and the kids and I went out for breakfast with her this morning. When we were finished, she took Julia home with her for the weekend. So it's been just the 3 little ones and I since 9 this morning. After the little girls finished their a.m. nap we all loaded back up in the car and headed out to my haircut. I sooo wanted a foil too. For the big weekend. But, I figured since I didn't plan ahead, I was asking enough of them to sit through just a scissors session. And they did.


Here's to hoping this weekend doesn't blow on by too quickly. What are your plans?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things going through my mind...

...right now.

Do I dare follow through with my plan to take all the children shopping in a couple of hours? I guess if I wear one of the babies, put the other in the back of the stroller and Luke in the front, it should go ok. Julia always hangs on to her "special spot" on the side of the stroller so I don't have to worry about her. Luke hangs on to his spot too, but I can't guarantee that a toy firetruck or a picture of an ice cream cone wouldn't tear him away from us. And, if I bring enough Cheerios and raisins, and bring our packed lunch I should be able to combat any issues with low blood sugar levels. I think we'll try it. The hardest part might be keeping from being blown away in the parking lot.

Will I ever figure out which of our 13 planted pots of seedlings are which? Last week during a mid 60 degree day, we moved our trays of sprouts from our kitchen on to our deck. The wind picked up and next thing I know, our labels are blown across the yard. If you remember right I am not a "green thumb" type of person, but aspire to be someday when we live on an acreage, so your typical pepper plant could easily pass as a blue perennial to me.

How soon can I get a child lock for our refrigerator/freezer doors? Luke has become a frig fanatic.

How fun will Friday 7:30a-Sunday 5p be? It's the annual Multiples Convention hosted by the Fargo group this year. A bunch of us girls are driving up together for a great mini-vaca of shopping, pampering, sloooowly enjoying meals that we didn't prepare, dancing, prizes, sleeping in or getting up early, leaving our breakfast table without having to clean up...whatever we want. Hallelujah!

How cute is Hazel? A couple of days ago she figured out how to climb the two steps out of our sunken livingroom. Once she gets up to the wooden floors she giggles and takes off. She really thinks she's sneaky now.

What do you think?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Unplanned Adventures

It's a good thing our day trip to my "half hippie, half organic, I-grow-my-own-Kiefer-on-my-countertop-while-fermenting-every-vegetable-from-my-garden, hidden amish attribute" girlfriend's house turned into an overnight trip. My children were NOT ready leave the farm after their naps as planned. Furthermore, I wasn't ready to go home since the dress she was teaching me to sew for Julia was not finished yet...and still is not. That has a lot to do with the fun we were having on our walks to the end of her driveway...galoshes and puddles included, our trip to the Moose for burgers, fries, and ice cream, the unplanned outside water faucet incident where all 3 children became drenched head-to-little-toe, and...well, taking care of 5 children under 3 years old. Moreover, my pet-deprived children must have given her two cats a months worth of neck carrying snuggling. And the "Yeehaws" left Luke speechless and motionless....for just a moment.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another "thing." That makes 2 of us.

The following conversation unfolded as Julia and I were running back into the grocery store to pick up our cart of groceries*.




"Momma, that girl is wearing a dress with no tights under it.
(As I look, I see a lady in her young 30's who is clearly pregnant. She's wearing a long maternity shirt with pants--not tights--underneath.)




"Hon, that's not a dress. That's a shirt you wear when you have a baby in your tummy. She's pregnant, see?"




"Oh. Do you have a baby in your tummy?"
(Thanks for that..but, uh, no.)




"No. I don't. Why? Do you want me to have a baby in my tummy?"
(I assumed she would say no...being that we have babies, in many shapes and sizes, all over our house already.)




"Yes."





"Well, honey, we're done having babies."




"But I want to have THREE babies."



"We do have three babies...Luke, Norah and Hazel."




"NahAaa, Luke is not a baby. And Norah and Hazel are getting to be big girls."







What did I tell you? I'm not the only one noticing the "growing up" that's going on around here. And, I must not be the only one going through a "thing."









*No we didn't order our groceries online and were on our way to pick them up. We were on our second.trip.to.the.store because I forgot my wallet in the office and noticed riiiight about when I should have been handing over my card during checkout. Shoot.

Monday, April 7, 2008

a thing

I could have chewed Luke's leftover piece of roasted marshmallow right. off. his. cheek he was so cute! It was his very first bonfire and it captured every ounce of his attention. His concentration on those flames was so intense.

Oh, that boy of mine.

I find it hard to accurately put it to words just how much I love that little guy. And, honestly, come on, I know it would be kinda weird to snuggle your little big guy to sleep every night when he's 17, but I can't imagine not being able to hum to him while I hold him close, kiss his little neck making him laugh to breathlessness, smell his hair, and listen to him repeat, in his most precious voice, the prayer I say for him before bed. I pray my heart never aches for these special days back....That I will always veer my focus on the now and not the then...That I won't sob myself to sleep when Luke's out on a date and not home by 7:30 to rock together in his rocking chair. Does that makes sense?

You see, I'm going through a "thing" right now. If I haven't already been honest with you, I'm going to be now. When the twins were born, I thought I was running an understaffed daycare where parents were forgetting to pick up their children at the end of the work day. Julia was 4 months shy of 3 and Luke was 15 months. I found myself thinking, "If only Norah and Hazel could hold their bottles, or crawl, or feed themselves." I wished Luke wasn't so dependent on me, allowing me to give the twins more attention. And I knew it. I knew it. The days would come when I wanted to freeze time because my babies were actually doing all those things.

That's the "thing" that I'm going through. Before I know it...it will be summer (yea, right. Maybe I'm way off on that one being that snow fell while I crawled out of bed this morning) and we'll be parkin', walkin', swimin', and campin' that season away. Then..it'll be Football season and next thing you know, we'll be sitting around the kitchen table discussing which child gets to take the car out that night. BTW, how many cars do you have for (2) 16 year olds, a 17 year old, and an 18 year old?

So the night we bonfired it up, I couldn't help but see how much our little boy was growing up. He's not only a Momma's boy, he's now a Daddy's boy too. And I know it's a milestone that all 2-3 year old boys go through...to gravitate toward their daddies. I really do love watching Luke look at his dad like he's the know all. I just love watching Luke act like his momma's the all knowing.

For now, I'll keep running the memory of Luke basking in his bucket of Sunshine that evening. For he is "big, big, big, big boy," as he says it. Big boy who holds stick...with marshmallow on it...that's flaming. And in my my mind, I've frozen an image of that cute corner lip stuck with sweetness...in one way or another.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Baby Audrey

With the nice weather inching its way back into our lives, I've decided that the weekends are for shovels and sand, roasting marshmallows with daddy, training wheels and helmets, long walks and playing with the neighbors. I'm going to practice blogcontrol and leave Saturday and Sunday postless.

But, tonight there is an exception.
Moments ago a friend sent me an email about a young Mom in need of our prayers.

Todd Smith, of the group SELA, and his wife Angie are pregnant with their 4th daughter. Baby Audrey is said to have "many congenital deformities" and they are scheduled to have a C-section tomorrow at 4pm (Monday). Audrey will likely live only minutes. This family begs for our prayers. I've read a few of her posts so far...that's when I had to stop and alert other prayer warriors. My friend was so right...it's heavy reading and her thoughts will make you sob and grieve with her. Please join with me in prayer for Angie and Todd and their precious unborn Audrey.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wagon Chatter I

Hey little sister. Whatcha got there atop that head of yours? If that isn't the funniest thing I've ever seen...besides that wild big brother of ours.






You really gotta be careful what you let people dress you with. Here. Let me help you out a bit. Let me just grab...ahold...of these...loopy...things and take care of it for you. Sit still.


Heeeeeey! Oh no. Hey Momma! This thing here is stuck. It's stuck good. This isn't right. This thing is never comin' off. How do you expect me to slobber all over her head now? Wait. Wait. This is fun. Yea! This is really fun! Isn't this fun, little sister?!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Looking back

It hasn't been 3 years already. Impossible! This was Julia, exactly 3 years ago. Looking back at pictures of our children, whether it be 3 months or 3 years ago, is a therapy measure and great reminder that these: bottle making, time-out issuing, funny toddler storytelling, loading and unloading (and loading and unloading), tantrum defusing, blowout diaper changing, rocking chair snuggling, free-giving hugging and kissing days will be just a memory all too soon.
When did this growing up thing happen? I do remember the first sign of it. It was the day after Luke was born. My MIL had Julia while we were in the hospital and when she brought her back, Julia ran up to me looking like she was 3 instead of 16 months.

And to think I thought Julia was a big girl as a 5 month old.

Supper Sleeper

Every evening it's the same show for the little girls...they eat their solids at 5:30 (last night being squash and cheese), then their last bottle at 6:15. They do all this in their highchairs while the rest of us prepare to get up to the table and join them.

And every evening, Norah, the one who's a tad on the laid back side and who's preferred amount of sleep is always cut short due to her get-up-and-go little sister, is famous for catching some zzz's during supper.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

warm and well-lit area

This is what we did yesterday, right after I shoveled the ice from our driveway, hoping to eliminate additional spills from the little people. I know the winter coats, hats, and snow throw things off a little, but gol-darn-it, it's Spring, lets start acting like it.


And, don't worry, these tomatoes and mixed peppers are safe in a "warm and well-lit area" within our house. They won't see solid ground since the kids and I are Container Gardening on our deck this year. I have not even a slight tint of green on either thumb so I thought we'd start small. That, and I'm not interested in making any friends with bambi and her family.

For the sweat and swoosh of it

I sat between my husband and an equally excited High School Basketball devotee last Saturday during the boys State Championship games. At the request of my hubby as his Christmas present, my SIL, BIL, and our niece came down to watch our 4under3 alllll day. (Now, if that wasn't going above and beyond their duty as an aunt and uncle, I don't know what would do it.)

As mr. marvelous carried on a sports talk conversation with the guy sitting next to me, I listened to the sound of squeaking sneakers echo throughout the arena. I watched loyal fans, drenched in school spirit, walk in with their school colors painted across their chest, their ratted hair sprayed with blue and white, and their hand decorated letters spelling out their alma mater.

My husband and I have a thing for high school basketball. We were both athletes in high school, basketball being both our favorites. The amount of determination and perserverance that this group of athletes display is entertaining. There's no million dollar contract tagged to these players. They give every ounce of gusto because of their passion for the game.

I sat soaking up the intensity in the atmosphere as Mr. M proudly bragged to our seat neighbors of how our hometown's '97 girls basketball team experienced State sweetness. What a great year that was. You see, that was my senior year and our team rocked. We took our Knights, that hadn't been there in exactly 20 years, to the Big Dance. Our town buzzed for a week straight. Here's our team at a pep fest during school. There weren't many of us but we were fierce. (I'm the 3rd from the right.)
And we were so anxious, excited, and proud. I remember how united our team felt.
We didn't make it farther than the first game...but our journey was unforgetable. We loved every minute of it.
Here's to sweaty jerseys, floor burned elbows, and nothin'-but-net shots.

(That's me #15, celebrating our Section 2A championship with my best, best friends from high school #43 & #45.)