Saturday, November 29, 2008

Upset Tummy

It's just another day in the life of mothering a 1, 2, 3 and 4 year old.

Thanksgiving was so wonderful, but we're still recovering. The kids aren't used to eating lots of rich food, so their little tummies have been upset. An upset tummy in little ones usually manifests itself with diarrhea or as the girls call it "tee tee out the back." And boy have we had it. And with three little girls still mastering the "wipe," lots of diarrhea usually leads to sore bottoms.

So M asked me for some cream because her bottom was sore. I take her to the changing table to fix her up. No big deal so far. Then I hear J whining saying her tummy hurts. I tell her to go potty because she probably needs to poo poo. I hear her call from the bathroom, "Yep. That's it Ma." Still no big deal. I've found the cream for M and begin to lather her up. But then J comes running into the playroom with pants around her ankles, crying, "Ma! Ma! A's eating my poo poo!"

The scene: I've got M on the table, cream on my fingers, J crying hysterically, and apparently my precious little A eating poo poo in the bathroom. I rarely do this, but it was necessary. I cried out, "Andy! I need you!" Thankfully he came running and rescued A from his mouthful of poo. It's in these times that I am so grateful that God's plan included a mommy and a daddy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tutu Boy

"OH NO! That's just not right. We can't have this."

Yes, that's what I heard Andy say after he peeked into the playroom to check on the kids this afternoon. I walked to the door terrified at what I might find, but it wasn't all that bad.

Just a sweet, little boy in a precious tutu.
And yes, he wore it all afternoon. Poor little A. I'm sure this only a glimpse of the torture to come. I love my life, full of little comedians, who don't even have to work to make me laugh! It's just natural, and so beautiful.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving #2

Today we celebrated Thanksgiving with Grandma and Grandpa in Sulphur. We had so much fun! The weather was beautiful - warm enough to comfortably sit outside on the patio, but breezy enough to not sweat. It was a wonderful, relaxing afternoon.

Andy's uncle Bill and family were able to come into town. We haven't seen them in a couple of years, so it was a sweet reunion. C, M, and J were thrilled to play with Rachel. They sang songs, did little dances, and played like all little girls ages 2, 3, 4 and 6 will play.

Andy's uncle Rod and family were also there. It was fun to catch up with them, and Victoria was such a doll to entertain the kids much of the afternoon. I'm sure we'll be hitting her up for babysitting soon!

Andy's grandmother was able to make the trip, which made the day special for all of us. As a mother of 11 kiddos, she's a walking book of knowledge and wisdom. Any time I'm around her I find myself soaking in everything she says. She's an amazing woman. And even after being so far removed from the "baby years," she still remembers the dangers of toddlerhood. She kept fussing at anyone who would try to give little A a balloon. Then she was on watch, yanking balloons from the kids' mouths. I was so thankful to have her there. I think she and I both left with a pocketful of confiscated balloons.

So with 19 hungry bellies present, we needed food!! And it was all so great. Grandpa made his famous cajun stuffing. Grandma made her famous broccoli casserole. I think that may be all that Andy ate; those are his two favorites. No really, I had to master those dishes before he would marry me. Of course we also had 4 types of meat, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, green salad, cranberry relish (new dish that I love!), and desserts. The girls had so much fun eating and eating and eating. Honestly, their little tummies looked pregnant like mine!

We had such a great Thanksgiving celebration! Andy and I think this year's Thanksgiving just might be the best we've had yet. The only think that would have made it over the top would have been to see "Uncum" Jim, Aunt Kara, and Jim-Jim. But hey, Christmas is right around the corner!

You'll notice we don't have any pictures to capture the day's events. Oops. I got the camera out and was struggling to get it turned on. I couldn't figure it out. I just knew I was pushing the "on" button. Victoria came to the rescue and showed me that I was indeed pushing the right button, but a camera without a battery can only take you so far. Yeah, big oops.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving #1

We may be a little confused around here, but we're celebrating Thanksgiving today at Nana's house. The menu is set with smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, asparagus casserole, cranberry sauce, fruit salad, orange salad, pecan pie, and poppy seed cake! (Yes, I'm writing this the night before and I'm really, really looking forward to lunch tomorrow!) And who are we kidding with all this food?! There will only be 4 adults, yet we continue to cook so much food. But when it comes to Thanksgiving lunch, where do you cut back? What dish do you not include? It just seems wrong to not go all out. YUM YUM!

We started the morning off in the kitchen with 2 special helpers -- J and A.Then the girls and I ventured outside to create a nature centerpiece. They gathered lots of neat things. They were looking for colorful objects, and colors we found. We had tan, brown, green, red, yellow, and orange! They were so proud of their creation.
While waiting patiently for lunch, C and M found the pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. They didn't realize the shakers were full of real salt and pepper. C was pretending and tipped the pepper shaker into her mouth. Quickly Nana explained, "Oh C! Be careful babe! There really is salt and pepper in those." C replied, "Ooohh... that's real spicy!" Oops.
Let's eat! A big thanks is in order for Andy and J who took care of the turkey. It was delicious!! Thank goodness for the smokehouse! The girls were so thrilled with all the food on their plates that they wouldn't look at the camera.
M was the only child to linger for after dinner conversation. She's such a hoot. At one point she leaned back in her chair and said, "Whew! I am sleepy M." Then she made a hat from her napkin that really resembled the pilgrim salt shaker. She's a doll.
Thanksgiving #1 complete -- and a true success. I can't wait for leftovers tonight!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Playing with A

I went grocery shopping, but never imagined I was bringing home A's new favorite toy. He loved these empty coke boxes! He played with them for about an hour. I was able to finish putting the groceries away, then sit and play with him.
When Andy saw me sitting on the floor, playing with A, he said he remembered the days when J was my little side-kick. It's so neat to watch the kids grow from being attached to my hip, following me around the house, wanting to be in the same room as me, to growing in independence and venturing outside or to the playroom.
A is on the verge of giving up his side-kick role. From time to time, he'll disappear to play in the playroom for a bit, then come back to find me. Pretty soon he'll be running, trying to get away from me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Silly Disappear Man

The other morning I gave the girls a bath while A while taking his morning nap. BUT, I forgot to grab three little girl outfits from the closet. Oops. No biggie. We have great robes that the girls love to wear. (Thanks Nana!!) The girls actually thought my mistake was a special treat!
A little later I found M and J sitting at the window. J lost interest pretty quick, but M was totally engaged by something. I was thinking "what in the world is so interesting out there?" A couple minutes later M came running to me saying, "Mom, you have to come see this. It's just too cool."
It was (in her words) the "silly disappear man." She was watching a man across the street mow his front lawn .
She said, "Watch Mom! You see, he's so silly. He walks in a straight line, turns around, then he disappears. But he'll come back. Wait. Wait. See! There he is again!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Push Toys

Will someone please get that kid a push toy?! No really, please don't do that. He's got plenty, but his push toys of choice are the dining chairs. I keep finding them all over the place. He grabs one and pushes it around until it gets stuck, then goes to get another one. Good thing they have felt on the bottom so he's not totally destroying the wood floor.

I just hope he walks soon. I'm already tired of picking the chairs up and returning them to the table. Come on A! You can do it! Put one foot in front of the other and go, go, go!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Big Bike

I looked out the window this morning and saw this.
What?! Is that my little J riding that big bike?! Yep, there goes my little athlete. She walked at 9 months, and apparently now she's ready to move from trike to bike already. I can't believe she has the strength to get that big bike going. Her little legs just barely reach the pedals. But it's her new favorite thing to do. I guess we know what to get her for her birthday now. Go J go!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Danger Zone

We've arrived yet again. And every time we get to this point I shed a few tears.
It's no longer safe to leave A alone in his highchair for any amount of time. Even with the tray squeezed firmly against his tummy, he can escape. He wiggles this way and that until he finds himself standing up. Then he's so excited he usually begins jumping up and down. No, that would not be safe. That would even cross the line into dangerous.

And of course the high chair was not designed to allow this. It came complete with a cloth padding in which the lap belt could be fed through the holes in the pad to safely secure the baby. But do you know how quickly that cloth padding gets dirty?! It's so much easier to wipe down wood, rather than fabric. So it's my choice. I threw that dirty mess away, so I've created this dilemma.

But it works for us. Before we know he'll be forced to sit in a booster chair as Baby #5 takes over the highchair. Until then, I've just got to keep a watchful eye on my big boy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Rule

One of the rules at our house is that Mommy and Daddy's room is off limits. It's my attempt to have some place of escape. The girls know this; A is in training. Most of the time, our bedroom door is shut as a reminder of this rule. And of course there are times when we fudge on the rule and allow our children to come snuggle with us or play, etc..., but that's allowed only by me or Andy.

Well yesterday morning I was sitting in the office reading, listening and waiting for the dryer to stop. I had intentionally left the bedroom door open because I knew I would be returning there with a basket of fresh clothes in a couple minutes.

My little J raced past the office, sprinting into my bedroom. I gently reminded her of the rule by calling out, "J. Where are you going hon?" She walked to me and answered, "Oh nowhere, Ma." To which I prodded further, "What are you doing my J?" She made her intentions clear with, "I'm not going in your bedroom to put lipstick on my lips, Ma. I not do that. No no."

And this is why we have the rule, and keep the door closed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rainbow Sherbet

The kids got a special a treat this afternoon!
I had to wake them up from their nap. I HATE waking a sleeping child. I know how important sleep is to a child's health and behavior, so anytime I have had to wake them up the voice inside my head screams - THIS ISN'T RIGHT! I SHOULDN'T BE DOING THIS!
But this afternoon it was unavoidable. Andy was in the middle of getting the car inspected, but didn't have the most recent proof of insurance card. Uh oh. Of course I had successfully retrieved it from the midst of junk mail, and safely secured it in my wallet for holding until it could makes its way to the glove compartment. But it had not made the journey from purse to car by the time it was needed. Oops. Back in the day we would say "my bad."
So here we go - off to rescue Dad from needless embarrassment and a huge time waster. (Yes, he asked for us to please hurry. Have you ever seen a 33 week pregnant momma with her 1, 2, 3, and 4 year olds attempt to move fast? It's a sight to see.) As I was walking to the kids' room I said a quick prayer: "Lord, please let them respond well to this adventure. Help them to wake happily and comply quickly." I was really dreading the task of getting them up and loaded in the truck.
But they did such a good job! They were up, in flip-flops, hats thrown on heads, and running to the truck in no time. Honestly the girls almost beat A and I to the truck, and I didn't do anything for him - no hat, no shoes, not even a fresh diaper. I was quite impressed with my little darlings. And I didn't hear one complaint! God certainly answered my prayer beyond what I thought possible.
So when we got home, out came the rainbow sherbet. It's my goal to teach my children that life is much sweeter when we make good choices. This is the second time M and J have experienced sherbet, but it was a first for C and A. While we were sitting, enjoying our cold, tasty treat, I told the girls to try each color separately to see if they could taste the different flavors. Then I asked each one what their favorite color/flavor was. C said red. M said green. J stuck out her tongue and touched it with the tip of her finger and said, "Dat one." She's a hoot.

Monday, November 17, 2008

DFW Summer Fun

This past summer we were able to go to DFW for a week. My family had scheduled a reunion around July 4th, so we went early to make a family vacation out of it, and we had so much fun!

There are certain things we just have to do when we visit DFW. Andy says we must browse Half-Price Books and eat at least one meal at Jack in the Box. I say we cannot leave until I eat at El Fenix. I mean, the night I went into labor with C I ate at El Fenix. I remember breathing through some contractions during the meal! So we have a pretty tight bond. Those are nonnegotiable and of themselves make the trip worthwile, but beyond that we did some really fun things.
We visited our old townhouse in Ft Worth and even got out to let the girls play on the old playground that was right outside our back door. C and M were 18 months and 6 months when we moved away, so they didn't remember any of it. We also took a kiddie train ride through the park. The ride was about 30 minutes long, with a stop halfway to purchase popcorn and sno-cones. And we had one big financial splurge. We visited the Dallas World Aquarium!! Andy and I have only been once, and that was when I was pregnant with our first, C. We both wanted to revisit old memories, and we knew the girls would absolutely love it. And we were thrilled that "Uncum" Jim and Aunt Kara were able to bring little Jim-Jim to join us! It was a blast! And the time spent with family was incredible. There was lots of good food, tons of games, and probably a little too much fun at times. Here are some pics from the week.

After that fun-filled week, we were all feeling a little pooped.