Friday, January 22, 2010

Once there was a Snowman

Just before the new year, we went to the snow for Hope's first time. Max and Ruby live in the snow, Dora Saves a Snow Princess, even The Little Einsteins visit Mount Everest. We needed to show her some real snow. The drive was long there and even longer back with Hope saying, "I wanna go home," and us replying "yes, honey, we're going home" until she finally gave in and went to sleep exhausted. It was worth it for Hope, she had a good time experiencing snow, sledding a little (very little), and building a snowman.

Hope and Andrew were playing a little game together and this just caught his expression perfectly.

This caught the babies expression perfectly and how they really felt about snow. Note to self: carrying two babies in snow suits is hard. They can't bend their bodies to do their normal monkey cling to your body. Balancing two babies on a sled is an easier method to move them, but just as hard to try and keep them from eating snow.

This was the beginning of their snowman, and had I not been occupied with holding babies, I'd like to think that I would have shown him how to really build a snowman, but still it's an 'A' for effort. I love that Hope and Andrew have identical expressions in this picture, she's her father's daughter.

Just trying to keep everyone from crying.

The snowman got a little more life when they added a face and arms. Next time Andrew says we will remember the carrot.

This week has been a crazy weather week. I've enjoyed the storms that have come in this week. We've had a little lightning and thunder, a couple of rainbows, and today, yes, snow.

We even got ambitious and built our little California snowman. We even had a carrot!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And when she was good

As the twins were napping (at the same time) this morning, I realized I had better seize the opportunity fast and take a shower while I could. I put on Baby Einsteins and let Hope know I was taking a shower, and left the door open so I could hear any disrepair. A little bit later she came by the bathroom door dragging an empty laundry basket and said cheerfully, "I'm doing laundry." To which I replied, "there are towels in the dryer you can fold." She must have gone to check because she came back to make sure and said, "it's okay I can fold laundry?" Yes, definitely yes. This is the sight I came out to when my shower was done. She only made it through one washcloth, but her heart was in the right place.

She looks like she's concentrating so hard to get the fold just right.
Later, she came in and said, "I came here to help you" when I was unloading the dishwasher. She actually was helpful and put away all the silverware, singing as she went, "forks go here, spoons go here..."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jealous Much?

Oh, my sweet Hope. She has been such a good big sister. Such a trooper. So supportive of the changes in her life that come with not one but two little sisters at the same time. People ask if she's jealous, and I always reply, "no, she's a good big sister." And she is. When she really forgets about the whole big and little sister thing, and they all play together - there is nothing sweeter. However, I think she is not ready to give up her place in mommy's (or daddy's) heart.
I know there are families with lots of kids, and I have so much respect for the parents. I can't tell you how many times a day I find myself saying, "no I can't do that right now, I have to feed the babies" or change the babies or bathe the babies or fill in the blank. And I do try to take time to do activities with just Hope, but it's hard, and I feel a little stab of guilt every time I have to say no. I think mornings and evenings are when she feels it most; when we're getting up or going to bed, because there's the stairs. I wait for her to wake up so she doesn't have to wake up by herself, and inevitably she asks to be carried downstairs. I try to negotiate, can we walk together and count the stairs? No, carry me. Ug. How long do I still need to carry her downstairs? (Thank goodness she's only 28 lbs). Am I supposed to put my foot down and listen to the crying that will definitely follow if I refuse. I tell her I need to take the babies downstairs because I can't leave them upstairs by themselves, and then I come back upstairs to carry her down. I am such a sucker. Is it printed there on my forehead? I think this is a direct attention thing, the babies get carried downstairs, surely Hope must too. I know how to negotiate toys - these toys are meant for the babies, you have toys that are just yours, so these toys must be shared with the babies. But how do you negotiate your own energy? I think this is why Hope does not want to be a big girl. She does not want to go in the big girl potty. She does not want to sleep in her big girl bed. She wants to remain Mommy and Daddy's little girl. We've tried bribery in many forms to no avail. Even if the babies are sleeping in their bed, it doesn't matter, Hope still wants to be in Mommy and Daddy's bed. I read on Ask Moxie (yes, another blog) about two different types of babies in reference to crying. The first is the type that releases tension by crying. The second is a child that increases tension when crying. The first child is the kind that you put it to bed, it cries a little bit, but then once it releases that, the child can settle down and go to sleep. Unfortunately, I think all of my children are the latter. It seems that if I lay down a crying child, they increase their tension. So, I know that Hope is three years old, but even her, if she's sleepy and ready for bed, and I go to lay her in her big girl bed, she starts crying and that tension increases and she gets all worked up. Now, I know that if I were a hard-nosed parent, I would walk away and assume that she's going to just have to simper down eventually. But that is oh-so-very-hard. And I just don't think it's in me. So, yes, I know I'm left with the alternative and that is a toddler sharing my bed. It's not ideal, but we'll resolve it eventually. Maybe by the time she's a teenager. My own personal feeling is that, I don't like sleeping alone, is it so wrong that maybe she doesn't either? I think all of this just came together at once - focusing on Hope being a big girl, but trying not to replace Hope with the twins. That's parenting though, right?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Addicted to Blogs

Yes, it's sad, but true that I have a blog addiction. It could be because it's one thing I can do while holding two babies (yes, America does have talent), but it seems I could take up hours daily roaming from one blog to another. Am I catching up on all the latest and greatest in my dear friends lives who take the time to update their family blogs? Oh no. My addiction started with craft blogs, I enjoyed dreaming of all the crafts that I could do if I could ever walk away from my computer. But in the past several months, I adopted a new favorite - Mommy blogs. Who knew there was such a category? One good thing has come of this. I'm inspired to blog more (no, that is not a New Year's resolution - I refuse to make those). For those of you that keep your blog up to date that are shaking your heads at me, I'd like to point out, I'm not as bad as an unnamed friend whose last post was Dec 21, 2008 - and that was a post about Thanksgiving. (I guess FB has replaced her blog - boo).

So here are my top two Mommy blogs (both of them from Babble's list of top mommybloggers). I feel like both of these bloggers have hit my parenting style (or lack thereof) on the head. I have literally "laughed out loud" several times while reading these blogs, they're just so confessional and humorous in their manner.


from Babble: In Heather Armstrong's words, "The chaos in our house is unreal." On Dooce, Armstrong channels that chaos through brutally honest, sardonic blog posts generating millions of visitors. Blending her biting wit with photos worthy of forwarding and an "all's fair" policy, Dooce has defined the mommy blogosphere since 2001. Along with raking in enough cashola to be the sole breadwinner, she's earned awards for Best American Blog, Best Design ed Blog, Best Writing for a Blog, Weblog of the Year and, in 2008, the Weblog's Lifetime Achievement award. In between blogging, Armstrong wrote the bestselling book It Sucked and then I Cried about her post-partum depression.

Armstrong's cross-over to the lush blog-only lifestyle was not voluntary. Now the stuff of legend, she was fired from her job after her merciless musings about her employer and her coworkers surfaced. She became what is now referred to as "dooced" — let go for negative job ramblings on the web.

2. Mom-101
from Babble:

One of Nielsen's 50 Power Moms and Forbes' Top 10 Mommy 'Hood Gurus, publisher/editor-in-chief of Cool Mom Picks, Brooklyn Heights-based Liz Gumbinner might look like another trendy blogging mama, but as she commented to the New York Post: "I'm kind of tired of the 'indie hipster smirking at the world around you' thing . . . cynicism has its place when you're, like, 20 and raging against the world, but once you become a parent, I think you owe your kids a little better than that."

Gumbinner's famous for her writing on Mom 101 about the sanctimommy trend; in her blog post she describes a particular breed of judgmental mom: "She has read every baby book, and has decided that her expert of choice is the expert and that heeding any other parenting theories is akin to worshipping false idols." Gumbinner's objectives to put people at ease, not channel sanctimommy, and to post (often loudy) "I AM NOT READY FOR THIS" about new parenting trials make for a lively read.