Monday, December 15, 2008

Jack's Big Music Show


I'm not sure exactly how long this show has been around. It was never one Alexa was interested in. I do know that it comes on after Franklin on Noggin. True love from first viewing for Jacob and Elizabeth. I don't know if it's all the music. Or the funky dressed puppets with really long noses. All I know is that when I need to do something without being disturbed I can turn it on and not worry about what sort of shenanigans those two are up to!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Santa...attempt #1

I went with my mom and nephew Ivan (age 4) to see Santa at his "Rockland Station" yesterday. It was a little shed outside. And if you've been watching the news it's cold in New England, not really ideal for an outdoor Santa. I feel for the poor guy that's for sure.

He made mom's day by asking her if she was mom to Alexa and Ivan. He sort of ticked me off by saying "oohhh, double trouble". I should have set them loose in his little shed and let him really know what double trouble is!

Alexa and Ivan both dropped off their letters. I got one picture (mom took a few more but she has yet to go digital). Ivan wouldn't get out of Santa's lap. Alexa ended up leaning on him. Neither of them asked for anything! They were happy with a snuggle and gave him big hugs which Santa loved. I later asked Alexa why she didn't ask for something (she definately has no issues with asking me for every thing she sees on TV). She said she was too scared. So I had to explain the difference between scared and nervous. She'd like to see him again so that she can ask - she wants one of his reindeer apparently.

As for the twins - hahaha! Someone slipped superglue onto Elizabeth - there was no way she would be peeled from my hip. And she's usally friendly with men, even strange ones. I was at able to attempt to put Jacob in his lap. He just arched his back and got ready to scream. It was too cold and too crowded (by now there was Santa, Alexa, mom, Ivan, me, Jacob, Elizabeth and Mrs. Claus - cosy quarters for sure).

I suppose I could get my dad to get himself a red suit. His beard is growing in nicely and in the perfect shade of white.

Monday, December 8, 2008

why are boys different from girls?

According to Alexa

1. boys pee standing up, girls sit down
2. boys shave (not totally correct because girls shave also...some anyways)

and best of all

3. boys watch football and sleep on couches

one very observant kid!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Alexa!

It's hard to believe that my baby girl is 5. I know we all get older every year but I guess I didn't expect it to go so fast. It's gone even faster since Jacob and Elizabeth were born.

Alexa was born at 10:49pm on December 4, 2003. Exactly 2 weeks early. It was a long labor but worth it! She arrived weighing exactly 7lbs, 20 1/2 inches long. She had a lot of hair and was fairly verbal. 5 years later she's around 57 lbs and at least 4 feet tall (time to remeasure!). Still has a lot of hair although she hates to wash it or have it combed so it's kept somewhat short. Instead of fairly I'd say she's most definitely verbal. Very opinionated and not afraid to show it. She's a very friendly girl - sometimes too friendly. I don't know how many times I have to tell her she needs to stop hugging and kissing complete strangers.

She's a wonderful big sister and I hope Jacob and Elizabeth will someday realize how lucky they are. Sure she has days when she doesn't want to play with them. And her room is off limits (safety hazard). But overall she's great with them.

School is just around the corner. This year she's attending preschool and learning a lot. She's getting better at writing her letters and doing math. I don't think it'll be too much longer before she's really reading (as opposed to reciting memorized books).

What do I think she'll be when she grows up? Based on some daily behaviors I'd say she'd make a great dictator. According to her she's going to live at home forever. She may move out for awhile so she can get a dog because I told her that's when she can have one. She wants to be a mom which shows I must be doing something right if I haven't frightened her off of the idea of children altogether. For awhile she was telling me she had to "hurry up and find a husband". She's going to need to find herself a strong and tolerable man (or woman) to be her partner that's for sure!

home from the hospital

one year old

2 years old
3 years old
4 years old
a few days short of 5

Thanksgiving 2008

We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving this year. It was spent at home just the five of us plus my mom. I did all the cooking and timed it all pretty well (I think). My plan was to eat at 12 and we were all seated with full plates by 12:15. The menu was fairly simple: turkey, mashed potatoes (I did cheat and use instant but I love them so!), candied sweet potatoes (made with fresh ones), green beans (jarred from my dad), carrots, cranberry sauce, and homemade apricot-raisin chutney (made back in September but keeps for awhile!). All followed by butterscotch pudding pie.

The nice part about eating early is you get to eat it all over again. Although for some...not so nice. By lunch on Friday Alexa was complaining about having to eat "that" again. But it did make for a very yummy soup that is still being enjoyed.

For the first time ever Alexa enjoyed watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. She loved it all. The best had to be when she started dancing with the Rockettes. She still needs to do a bit of work on her moves. The twins were inspired by her and tried to join in. I did catch some of it on the video camera. Someday maybe I'll figure out how to get video from there to the computer.

My other thanksgiving day project was to make some marshmallows - these were the best marshmallows ever! Don't be surprised if you end up with some for Christmas gifts. I'll find it hard to go back to store bought that's for sure.

Not many photos taken. That seems to be my Thanksgiving tradition. Ever since I lost the photos from Alexa's first Thanksgiving back in 2004 I've had few to show.

a little lost pilgrim

enjoying a pre-dinner snack

Saturday, November 22, 2008

my name is mom

Over the past almost 5 years this has been not only my "name" but my job title. There are days when it is over-rated...but most days under-rated. I don't think I could even name off all of the things I've learned to do. I can think of a few things that I get to do that I could do without doing...bathroom duty comes to mind.

I get tired of hearing my name being repeated to me over and over and over again. Just like I get tired of saying yes or what in response but getting no answer. I only seem to get an answer when I start shrieking or yelling. And I get real tired of hearing myself talking at full volume.

I'm good at functioning on little, poor quality sleep as long as you don't ask me something too difficult. You might have to prompt me because sometimes my thoughts disappear out of my head before they make it to my mouth. And then I can't find them again. That is so frustrating!

The whole point of this today - being a mom does not make you a plumber.

And diaper sprayers that boast easy install - ha! Perhaps if your bathroom is shiny and new with easy access and brand new pipes. When the bolts are rusted to the pipes and you can barely see what you are doing - my advice is step away before something bad happens.

The bad that happened to me (cause why would I blather on if something good happened? where's the lesson in that?) - I got bumped from behind by a 16 month old that was "trying" to help. Which made me bang the old pipe. Which started to break off at the wall. Which caused water to spray everywhere unless I held it a certain way. Which included being hunched over the toilet while 16 month olds played in the water and the almost 5 year old used papertowels and an empty cereal box to mop the water up.

I did finally get my cousin on the phone who got my aunt. She came over and shut the water off to the entire building (sorry everyone!). We were able to get the pipe of the rest of the way by snapping it off. Which meant instead of a spray water was flowing. But eventually it stopped.

The water is now turned off only at our apartment. And I know where to shut it off in case I ever flood things again (or someone else does). The fix is actually pretty easy - a new connector and a new shut off valve.

My name is mom...I am not a plumber.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

project time

Waiting....

Today Alexa had a friend over for a playdate. Ellie is the little girl my aunt takes care of. We've known her since she was born and visited occasionally over the years. Alexa loves having a girlfriend her age (Ellie is one week older than Lex).

I decided to whip up some dough for ornaments. My helpers shared pouring the ingredients in (4 c flour, 1 c salt, 1 1/2 c hot water) as well as mixing and kneading. Their kneading ability was a bit questionable...it involved a lot of banging and slapping. And they weren't too good with the rolling pin. They could make it go but it wasn't effective!

Jacob and Elizabeth were quite excited by the goings on. So I whipped up some edible playdough for them. It took some searching to find a dairy free recipe - ended up with 1 part water, 1 part flour, 2 parts oatmeal (I did 1/4 c and 1/2 c). They definitely preferred eating it despite the fact that it tasted nasty...or at least very, very bland!

Because they decided to eat their artwork I know not to give them any regular playdough or finger paints anytime soon. Not unless I want them to have major bellyaches.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

happy birthday Nokomi

Yesterday's was my mom's birthday. I've been wanting to make a cake but not wanting to have to eat it myself. So making one for her was a brilliant choice. Alexa helped me with the cake part and decided on the frosting color (green).

Of course it seemed to take forever to get everyone dressed and ready to go. Then to actually get there. First Alexa had to make a picture for her Nokomi. And wanted it to be a family picture but drew herself too big to allow room for anyone other than Jacob and Elizabeth. She was supposed to make a card...oh well.

My brother picked up her gift for us. A buy one get one free 1 hour massage. I was a bit confused at first because he said each massage was $50 so I owed him $50. But it turns out that's $50/30 min. Money's tight but mom most definitely deserves it...I think every mom does!

The kids had fun playing once Elizabeth settled in. We haven't been to her house in awhile so the dogs were a bit much at first. I'd say it was while eating lunch that it started to fall apart. My 4 y/o nephew decided to tell Alexa he was taller. He just comes to Alexa's chin. Of course this upset Alexa b/c it wasn't true. And he kept saying it. Eventually they were fighting over everything. The last straw was when I caught them fighting over one of the dogs. They were each on one side of Tiger and getting ready to starting pulling on her (action to go with the words "no she's MINE").

Too bad b/c Alexa and Ivan lost out on a sleepover. But I've learned that's just how it is with kids. At each other's throats one visit, hugging and as lovely as can be the next!

last November

this November

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween

The Wednesday before Halloween we finally got around to carving Alexa's pumpkin that she'd gotten at school (thank you Kelsie's grandma!). Dad had given me a folder full of carving kit printouts as well as a little drill and saw. We scooped the insides (saving the seeds to snack on) and chose our pattern.

We went with a ghost and I was quite impressed with how well it came out. I've never actually used a carving kit before. Usually I go at it with a sharp knife or let Chris do it.

But for Alexa one side carved wasn't enough. We had to do a "scary" face on the other side.

I was successful in talking her out of carving anything else on it by explaining there would be no pumpkin left!

Halloween day was spent hanging around the house watching Aunt Brenda and (cousin) Ian install the new ceiling in the twins bedroom. Chris had to work the night shift (I can't help but wonder if he requested this...I know I would!). The candy I ordered from Oriental Trading never showed so we had to decide whether to go buy more or just not hand any out. We went with the latter. And just as well because we didn't have a single visitor.

No...I'm not crazy enough (yet) to take the kids out by myself. I ended up going with my cousin and her little boy, as well as her mom and ex-boyfriend. I got everyone dressed into their costumes and we headed out.
getting ready to go trick or treating!

The going was slow. The stroller is not light these days with 2 20lb kids in it! And I had just come down with a lovely chest cold that made any activity seem strenuous.

enjoying the view and the ride

On our way back home Brenda had the job of searching for Jacob's hat which he'd tossed overboard. Luckily we found it right by town hall. Alexa and Dylan had to be spoken to a few times about running through dark yards. Apparently tripping and almost smacking their faces into pavement courtesy of a raised walkway wasn't lesson enough.

We went to just enough houses to fill the pumpkin bag. Alexa was only slightly interested in the candy once we got home. She wanted a freeze pop instead.

Now we get to look forward to next year which will be a completely different experience!

candy crew ready to go

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alexa's Boston trip

I should probably let Chris do this...but I'm not sure he knows how to blog.

The weekend of the 17th Alexa and Chris headed down for a jam-packed overnight trip to Boston. Friday night included dinner at the Hard Rock (where she was a staff hit) and a Celtics game.Saturday's activities included the Museum of Science. There Alexa got to see dinosaur bones and a butterfly exposition. She also got to go to Faniel Hall and a tour of Fenway Park. They didn't get back until quite late on Saturday night.

Alexa was full of stories to tell for a few days after. And she's just in love with her new Celtics sweatshirt!

water

This week cannot end fast enough. It all started last Thursday...maybe Friday. That's when the ceiling in the twins room started to drip despite there being no rain outside. Luckily I've got the cribs positioned in such a way that it never dripped directly onto the cribs.

Later that afternoon it starts again. This time I happen to hear a washing machine running. So I mosey on upstairs to ask the neighbors to check their washing machine. They do and say "nope...no water. But it was spinning funny." Eventually the dripping stops. But it starts again for a bit on Saturday. So I call my uncle who comes over and tells them to not run the washer until they get it figured out.

And then on Sunday - again it starts. By this point I'd given up complaining because it was obvious nothing was being accomplished. To burn off some of my anger at the neighbors I did a kickboxing video. While I worked up a good sweat I still wanted to kick them directly.

Monday morning rolls around. My aunt (who is the property manager) calls to see how it's going and to let me know she's back in town. As I'm speaking to her I hear drips. But see nothing. Wait a minute...here it comes. Instead of drips out the ceiling it's a steady but light pouring. My aunt tells me to run upstairs and tell them she said to shut their washer off. The response "oops...I forgot."

Tuesday afternoon is a wet one. And about to get wetter. My aunt comes over with a handful of tools and begins to tear the ceiling out. It ends up being a family affair and a bit crowded. The neighbors are asked at this point to run the washer to see if the leak can be figured out. Nothing happens.

In the meantime where are Jacob and Elizabeth? Why they are napping in Alexa's room where they are sharing one crib. The other is in the living room and not really usable due to light and noise. For bedtime they get to squeeze into a pack and play together in my room till I go to bed. Not the most ideal sleeping situation and therefore grumpy babies.

Finally we come to today. Drip, drip, drip is what I woke up to at 6:30 (well actually J woke up wanting to nurse...then I heard it). A soaked floor (some landed in the buckets) and a spinning washing machine. And some soap bubbles just to prove that it is the washer.

Hopefully neighbors will use their brains (which don't appear to be very operable) and not run the washer. Because now everything needs to dry out really good so the ceiling can be replaced. That should hopefully occur over the weekend.

Thank god for that. I don't think I'll survive too many more days with cranky kids.

Friday, October 17, 2008

oldies....but goodies

When I was over at moms last week she commented on how much Elizabeth reminds her of me. I was a little surprised to hear this. I've never thought any of the kids look like me. And a very few others have thought it (like Rhi and her mom!).

So I decided to do some investigating. Unfortunately the photo album I have with baby photos in it has gone missing. Probably just in one of our unpacked totes. But mom did have some in her "picture drawer".

And here are a few that I found:


Funny thing is that we even have the same number of teeth - 4 on top, 2 on the bottom!

Friday, October 10, 2008

comparison

Alexa asked me to get a picture of the 3 kids today. It was hard but I did it!

Here's one of my favorites from August 2007:
And today...same raggedy haired girl with a tight lip smile!

back to the er

This time it was complete with an ambulance ride!

I was working on getting everyone ready to go this morning. Breakfast was done and Alexa was in the shower so she'd be clean for school. Liz and Jake were wandering around as they usually do. I got out clothes for them to wear. I had just set them down when I heard a dish crash down. Thought that was strange because Lex was in the shower.

Turns out Jake knocked it over. He used the footstool he'd seen Alexa standing on to reach up onto the counter and pulled a cereal bowl down. Then managed to crawl over it/next to it. When I grabbed him he seemed fine. It was when I got back to the living room that I discovered his big toe bleeding...a lot. As I tried to stop that I quickly checked the rest of him over and discovered a tear in his pjs at the leg - a nice 2 inch gash next to the knee.

Not knowing what else to do since no one was answering their phones I called 911. Apparently the FD across the street isn't staffed unless needed so they had to arrive then some of the EMTs walked over.

A bandaid for the toe and a few stitches at the knee. I'm not really sure how many because I wasn't watching. I was trying to keep my poor baby calm while he screamed. Not in pain (at least I don't think) but because he had to be restrained while the doctor did his thing.

This makes the 3rd ER visit for our family since moving to Friendship - cat bite, asthma attack, cut up leg. Not to mention a visit on Wednesday to the lab at the hospital for routine bloodwork.

And here he is all bandaged up. He's quite the trooper but will be wearing sometime over the bandage so he doesn't play with it. I have to keep it clean and dry for 7-10 days until the stitches dissolve...guess that means no climbing in the shower for him. And it's extra bulky to give him some padding for crawling.

And the lesson learned - keep the kitchen door shut unless I am in there. Or at the very least keep the counters clear and stools away.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

15 months!

It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since the arrival of the twins. That's probably because there isn't a whole lot of downtime at our house!

To celebrate the day the twins had a well-baby check with their new pediatrician. This is the doctor I had planned to go with before deciding to try a family practice. When they took 2 days to call me back after Jake's ER visit (they didn't have his records in hand - I guess they don't have a fax) they got fired. I did make them copy the medical records for me so that the new office wouldn't have to wait 2 more weeks for GPPA to release them.

I like our choice. He's not to chatty with the parents but is great with the kids. After a doctor who talked nothing but politics I'm glad to have one a little more focused.

We definitely have some little peanuts on hand! Jake's stats have him weighing in at 19 lbs 10 ozs, 31 inches tall. Liz's stats have her weighing in at 19 lbs 1 oz, 29.5 inches tall. They've only gained 1-2 lbs since their 1 year visit but have grown 2 inches! And of course they are very, very active. They were all over that office...thank goodness it wasn't too big. Smaller rooms make them easier to catch!

They did have to get some shots and have more to make up next month. Apparently the dr decided to skip vaccinating them at 12 months. Plus we had to head over to the hospital to have some lab work done. At 1 year their lead levels came back high and their iron low. We are hoping to see the lead levels going down now that we have moved.

No post is complete without a picture!



Thursday, October 2, 2008

for Aunt Kayla

I was told that I needed a new picture of Liz up...one that you can see her face.

Here you go:

Hand me downs

So can you guess who is who? Once upon a time it was hard to tell! The hair gives it away however. (and makes me realize how lacking Jake and Liz are compared to her!)

There is just something about seeing the same outfits on your next child that gives your heart a little tug. Or maybe it's just me. I love seeing Liz wearing things that were Alexa's. The outfit in these pictures is actually one I made. It took awhile and a lot of help from Elaine. I ended up making only one other shirt before I gave up on sewing for the time being.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the sticks work after all

This morning an amazing thing occurred. Jacob stood up all by himself in the middle of a room. Not only that - he also took 1 1/2 steps towards me without holding onto anything. Maybe walking is closer in the future than we thought! That'll be good for his knees...give the calluses a chance to heal.

I'm impressed that he was in the mood to try that out today. We spent yesterday afternoon at the ER in Rockport thanks to cold-induced asthma. No fun at all! Thankfully my mom was able to take Elizabeth because I can't imagine having to keep the two of them contained for hours on end.

video

Sunday, September 21, 2008

some pictures

Alexa being silly in her room...I believe she was playing Lion King


Elizabeth reading...who needs kids books when you have cigar catalogs?


Jacob admiring the view at the hotel

Traveling

I've never enjoyed traveling all that much. Probably because I never got to go anywhere exciting. I never made it to the Maine Mall until I was 13...and it was only a 2 hour drive. My parents weren't too keen in crossing town lines.

This weekend we traveled to Gorham for the birthday party of our nephew, well pseudo-nephew (good friend's son). It's hard to believe he's already 5 and just reminds me that Alexa's 5th is only 2 months away.

Okay..started to veer off topic a bit. Alexa ended up spending Friday night at her grandmother's. The rest of us stayed at the Marriott courtesy of an employee discount. We had dinner late and didn't get back to the hotel till around 8. The twins did not want to go to bed! They were having too much fun tackling the gigantic pillows. It also didn't help that we all had to sleep together (well me and the twins, Chris got his own bed because he was sick). They are used to sleeping in their own cribs to at least start the night. Finally one by one everyone dropped off to sleep.

And were all up before 7am. Babies got a bath - a luxury since we only have a shower. Then breakfast and a few stops before getting Alexa and going to the party. Spent a few hours there, then another hour visiting another friend before dropping Alexa back off at Grammy K's and heading back home. After being unable to nap most the day because of all the activity they conked out quickly and for the entire ride home!

It is so nice to be back home. I hate riding in the car but at the same time I hate driving. I guess I'm more like my parents then I think!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jacob

This boy of mine is such a ham! And very cuddly to pretty much anyone that'll pick him up - he loves giving hugs and very wet kisses. While his sister has been working on walking he's content to move at his own pace - a very fast crawl. Favorite foods include any fruit (especially blueberries and watermelon), most veggies (potatoes are a no-go), cereal (cheerios not kix), and lunch meat.
Hobbies include getting into trouble...or at least into things he shouldn't probably be getting into. Like the clothes dryer. Well...he hasn't actually gotten inside yet but he made a good attempt yesterday thanks to the basket of dry clothes in front of the door. Here are a few examples...


His favorite things include remote controls, telephones (he's really good at turning cell phones on), yanking on the shade strings (under adult supervision of course), getting into cupboards or the shower (especially when on), and taking off his diapers (got to love uncovered velcro!). Here's one thing he loves to do naked...been edited for his protection although it'll be unedited in his scrapbook for me to show when he's older.

babysitting

I've started taking care of my 6 month old nephew for my sister. It helps her out, we get to see more of each other, and it allows me to make a little money and stay home with the kids. It's been a long time since I babysat someone other than my own kids (and I don't think you can call that babysitting). I forget how hard it can be, especially to get schedules to mesh so you can do things like think, prepare meals, and use the bathroom without a congregation at the door.

Yesterday was easy - only 3 hours. Today was 7 hours. 3 children under the age of 2. It wasn't easy! Jacob and Elizabeth can get very jealous of anyone invading "their space" (ie. mom's lap). Blake doesn't like the floor much. And when you feed one baby a bottle at least one of the 2 nurslings wants some action. And a nursling in action totally confuses the baby that's a nursling with his momma yet is stuck with a bottle!


Actually - they play fairly well together. J and E either sit right next to him and they pass/take toys or B ends up sitting solo while the others crawl/walk away. I wonder how long it will take him to learn the movement skills seeing those 2 in action. This is them yesterday. E is trying to wash B's head just like she does to her baby doll. He wasn't too keen on it. J just observed and was happy it wasn't his head!

Jacob's milestones

  • weight/length @ 7: 55.6lbs, 48.75"
  • weight/length @ 5: 42lbs, 43.5"
  • weight/length @ 4: 36 lbs, 39+"
  • weight/length@ 3: 32lbs, 36.5 inches
  • weight/length @ 2 years: 26lbs, 33.5 inches
  • weight/length @ 1 year: 18lbs, 29 inches
  • walking: 11/17/08
  • standing: 3/31/08
  • crawling: army, 2/5/08
  • first time rolling: 9/30/07, belly to back
  • first smile: 9/7/07
  • birth date/time: 7/8/07, 12:49am
  • birth length: 19.5 inches
  • birth weight: 6lbs, 1oz

Elizabeth's milestones

  • weight/length @7: 53lbs, 47.75"
  • weight/length @ 5: 40 lbs, 42.25"
  • weight/length @ 4: 34lbs, 38"
  • weight/length 3 years: 28lbs, 35.5 inches
  • weight/length 2 years: 24lbs, 6oz 33 inches
  • weight/length 1 year: 18lbs, 1oz 27.5 inches
  • walking: 9/1/08
  • standing: 4/4/08
  • crawling: army 3/16/08
  • sitting alone: 2/29/08
  • first time rolling: 11/23/07, back to belly
  • first smile: 9/7/07
  • birth date/time: 7/8/07, 12:50am
  • birth length: 18.75 inches
  • birth weight: 5lbs, 8oz

Alexa's milestones

  • weight/height @ 10 (really 10.8): 186, 5'3"
  • weight/height @ 8.4 years: 113 lbs, 55.5 inches
  • weight/height @ 5 years: 61lbs, 4oz 45.25 inches
  • weight/length @ 4 years: 49lbs, 42 inches
  • weight/length @ 3 years: 38lbs, 38 inches
  • weight/length @ 2 years: 32lbs, 8oz 35.75 inches
  • weight/length @ 1 year: 22lbs, 3 oz 29.5 inches
  • 1st day of preschool: 9/3/08
  • solo somersault: 3/4/08
  • whistling: 3/2/08
  • potty training: 10/7/05
  • walking: 12/21/04
  • standing: 8/23/04
  • crawling: 8/21/04, only a week, then became a butt scoot
  • first wave: 7/27/04
  • rolling: 5/2/04, belly to back
  • sleeping thru the night: 3/1/04
  • first smile: 1/20/04
  • birth date/time: 12/4/03, 10:41pm
  • birth length: 20 inches
  • birth weight: 7lbs