Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Nothings

There are lots of random things on my mind this fine, rainy Tuesday morning (now it's afternoon, but still fine and rainy).  Sydney goes to preschool on Tuesdays (and Wednesdays), and I always like the routine that school days provide.  Although I'm still trying to figure out a good routine for us (especially on the days when we're all together, all day).  I am scared of summer vacation.

A few weeks ago Chet and I finished the series "The Office" (the American version).  We started watching it some time before he deployed, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  I especially loved the last episode.  It provided much closure and was a little corny, but I'm a corny girl.

There are other shows we like to watch, but they are all hour-long shows.  Come nighttime, after the kids are in bed, I can never commit to an hour of TV (but I WILL watch two or three 20-minute shows...hmm)  So we started watching "Parks and Recreation," because, like "The Office," it is squirrelly (in regards to its type of humor) and each episode is only 21-minutes long.  We're only about five episodes in, but so far it's enjoyable.

Speaking of squirrelly sense of humor, can you say SYDNEY?  She finds humor in off-the-wall things, which makes her, well, off-the-wall, and sometimes a little inappropriate (but what 4-year old isn't inappropriate?).  This also makes her special, and I can totally identify with her sense of humor, so I find myself genuinely laughing at things she points out. I am guiding her in understanding when it's NOT okay to laugh (like when her friend falls on the ground while wearing roller skates, it's NOT because the friend is using slap-stick comedy to get a laugh out of Sydney).
How unflattering and ridiculous is this picture?
We usually have pancakes on Saturday mornings.  I like mine a little bit raw.  Chet has perfected the raw pancake, just for me.

At the end of January I had my hair colored darker than my natural color.  I've been wanting to do this for years, and finally got around to it.  It's different, and I like it, but now my roots are starting to show, and they look gray.  (Maybe they are gray.)  The color is also fading due to the passage of time, and lightening because we are spending more time outside in the sun.  I think I just need to go lighter again...but I'm concerned my hair is going to turn red if I do.  (Nothing wrong with red, I'm just not sure I'm cut out to be a red head.)

Unrelated photos:
Lorelei was the walking wounded on Sunday, after she fell and skinned her knees on our walk home from church.

Bubby is just Mr. Handsome Pants.

Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit

The pink sleepsuit arrived, and well before the promised 8 pm delivery time (thank you, Amazon--the $8.99 shipping charge was worth it!). 

Ford napped in it this evening, and it only took 8 minutes of fussing/crying and me re-inserting his (new, different kind of) pacifier for him to fall asleep.

He looked quite comfortable once he fell asleep, and I was interested to find out what would happen. I often think he needs an early evening "refresher" nap, which is what this was, and I was hoping the sleepsuit wouldn't be so magic that he would think it was bedtime and sleep until 4 am, ready to go for the day.

Thankfully, he only slept about 45 minutes, which is good for an early evening nap. I had run out to CVS after he was asleep, and Chet texted me when  he woke up:

This picture may come back to haunt you, but you asked for it, buddy (by refusing to sleep). Mommy loves you.

(Stay tuned to find out whether or not the sleepsuit works at night.)


Clever title of this post, huh?

We are headed out on an adventure this morning: to the Museum of Natural History in the National Mall, via The Metro (we have to take a bus and a rail). 

The museum opens at 10; we are catching the Metro bus about a block away from our house at 9:53, loaded down with three kids, two different baby carriers, two strollers, a million snacks, and Xanex (not really). 

I'll let you know how it goes.

Here's an unrelated picture:

Bubby is as big as Sydney. 

And don't go assuming our children are always quiet and still and well-behaved as Chet reads. Not the case at all--I got lucky with this shot. Usually Lorelei has Sydney in a choke hold while Sydney knees Lorelei in the back. And it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Which is, on average, every five minutes.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

Ford is learning how to sleep.  Not very well, but we've at least started somewhere.

Without getting into too much detail (because I'm not in the mood), I'll just let you know he's been sleeping in our bed since the move.  Long story short, he's used to falling asleep while nursing, and nursing whenever he wants throughout the night.

Honestly, it worked pretty well for both of us until recently.  He (and I) likes his own space, and there's just not enough space in our queen-sized bed for all three of us.  So, two nights ago, I decided to cold turkey start putting him in his crib to sleep.  We have a Moses basket that I could have put him in, but I didn't want to have to deal with another transition (from Moses basket to crib) a few weeks down the road. 

So here we are.

He did alright two nights ago.  Woke up about every three hours to eat and went back to sleep each time, waking up for good about 9:15 a.m.  A small problem was that we still swaddle him at night, and he rolled over from his back to his tummy (still swaddled) several times.  I think that may be why he slept so well, but I'm just not comfortable with him sleeping on his belly swaddled.  (I can deal with him sleeping on his belly unswaddled though.  The only problem is, he can't get there on his own...the fact that he was rolled up like a burrito and on a firm crib mattress is the only reason he was able to roll all the way over onto his tummy in the first place.)

So last night I decided to test what was truly important to him: being swaddled or sleeping on his belly.

He's not ready to sleep unswaddled.  I tried putting him to bed earlier than usual (around 7 p.m.) unswaddled (but still wearing his Halo Sleep Sack).  He would not have it.  Even on his belly, he hated it.

Since that option was out, I decided to place him on his side (a position he likes) within the sleep positioner (to help him stay on his side, because he does not seem to prefer sleeping flat on his back).  He woke up every two hours all night long, and would only go back to sleep after nursing.

I was frustrated, to say the least.

Babies are hard to figure out their entire first year of life.  They change so quickly, and when they do something "out of the ordinary," you have no idea if it's because they're teething, going through a growth spurt, or just plain crazy.  Yes, babies are crazy. 

So, at 4:45 a.m., when I was up feeding Ford for the third time, I bought him his very own Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit.  And because I was so desperate to have one as soon as possible, I paid the $8.99 in shipping to Amazon for a guaranteed delivery of Saturday night, and ordered him...the pink one.  Because they were out of blue and yellow, and Mama will do anything to help you learn how to sleep as soon as possible. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

We had a lovely Easter Sunday, and hope that y'all did too!

Saturday we did a small egg hunt in our backyard and gave the girls their Easter baskets.

In Sydney's basket: Dora band aids, new toothbrush, three "easy reader" books, the movie "Tangled"
In Lorelei's basket: Dora band aids, new toothbrush, a Dora umbrella, a new book

Bubby had this bear in his Easter basket.  He seriously loves it, and chews on its head like there's no tomorrow.

Easter morning we walked to the Methodist church down the road.

I carried Ford, and he fell asleep on the way.

We came home quickly after church to have a snack, re-pack the diaper bag, and grab the lemon poppyseed cake that I made to take to Grams' house for Easter lunch/dinner.  (Grams is the lovely woman who lives in Severna Park, MD, near Annapolis, who so graciously opened her home to us while we were going to school at the Academy.  I LOVE that we live closer to her now, and hope to visit her at least once a month while we are stationed here.)
Random picture of Lorelei, between church and Grams' house
 Playing on Grams' deck:

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

More 3-Month Pictures

I promise Ford knows how to smile.  He just decides not to when there is a camera in front of him.  Although, he is a man of few words and facial expressions (I suppose I'm used to his super dramatic older sisters).

Here are some more 3-month pictures.  He was in good spirits for this month's photo shoot, and especially interested in his feet.  He also kept trying to sit forward.

(I just tried to choose which pictures to include, and then just decided to post all of them.  You're welcome, grandparents; sorry, everyone else.)

Blurry leaning forward picture


Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

I meant to write the "Adventurous" post yesterday, Thursday, but I plum ran out of time.

Let's not forget what happened today, Good Friday, 2,000 years ago, when Jesus died an unimaginable death on the cross for our sins. 

Thank God that's not the end of the story.


We had an adventurous day yesterday (partly by choice, partly not), because we knew Chet would be working until very late (he got home after we were all asleep).  So there were hours and hours and hours (and hours) for us to fill, and on days like this, Mama does whatever it takes to fill those hours and therefore avoid going off the deep end.

The first adventure was Lorelei tumbling down the stairs (she's totally fine, so please don't freak out).  We were all upstairs, and I was in Ford's room feeding him, but I could still see most of the activity going on in the other rooms.  The girls like to throw things down the staircase, even though it's a big no-no, and that's what they were doing, despite me telling them through clenched teeth not to (great listening skills, little ladies!).  Well, lo and behold, Mama and Daddy were right: if you play at the top of the stairs and throw things to the lower level, you're bound to fall.  Once I ascertained she was perfectly fine, both girls were in trouble for not listening and confined to their room for an unspecified amount of time.

The rest of the morning and early afternoon were fairly tame, but I knew we needed to get out of the house, otherwise the late afternoon and early evening were going to be u-g-l-y.  So I packed the kids up and we headed to the park.  Not the close park though, because then it's too easy to escape back home.  We went to the park near one of the Targets, where the girls love the equipment, and I love that the playground is totally fenced in and I don't feel like I have to have two eyes that are able to move independently of one another in order to watch both of them.

Anyway, we have to parallel park on the street in order to visit this particular park, and cross a busy road, but we got to the correct side of the street without incident and Syd took off running on the jogging trail toward the playground (this was fine).  Ford, Lorelei, and I moseyed along a little more slowly, and then I noticed Sydney turning around and running back toward us.  She was crying and clutching herself in a way that only means "I need to go potty NOW if I haven't already."  There are no bathrooms at this park.  Or trees.  She went RIGHT before we left the house, so I was concerned that she needed to go #2.  Nope, turns out she didn't go before we left the house -- although I told her to and she reported she did. 

Me: Why didn't you go to the potty when I told you to, Syd? 
Syd: Um, because I wanted to hurry to get to the park and because I didn't want to wash my hands. 

Good answer (not).

So we crouched on the grass to pee, but not low enough, because it was all over the pack of her legs when she stood back up. 

Me: Sydney, because you didn't potty before we left, now you have tee-tee all over your pants. 
Sydney: It's okay, it'll dry.


It took some silent seething while the girls played for me to get over that.  As soon as I was over it, I noticed Sydney had climbed a tall rock formation that she is able to scale, but not de-scale, so I had to help her down from that.

(Syd loves climbing too high and trying things that are above her skill level.  It sends me over the edge.  My rule of thumb is, "If you can't do it by yourself, don't do it."  I have a hard time not getting upset at her, because I feel like all it takes is a little common sense not to do things that are above one's skill level.  Then I remember she's four.)

After I rescued her from Mount Everest, I sat down on a bench near where Lorelei was playing.  Then I noticed Sydney had made it halfway across the monkey bars by herself.  She normally asks for help on the monkey bars, and I could tell she was going to need to let go soon (it wasn't, what I would call, a short drop to the ground), so I rushed over to her just as she was starting to get a little freaked out.  I'm sure she would have been fine had she dropped to the ground, and in hindsight, I should have let her.

What's the happy medium between telling them they can't do something that's too advanced for them and letting them try?  At what point do you start to squash their confidence and sense of adventure?  Huh?  HUH?!


The rest of the park adventure was fairly uneventful.  We left when all three kids were crying: Sydney because she tripped going up the equipment stairs and bumped her knee, Lorelei because she didn't want to get off the swing, and Ford because he had pooped.

Speaking of poop, it was quite a load.  It took me at least 15 minutes to get him all cleaned up and buckled into his car seat.  15 minutes is a long time when you're on your third kid, so that's proof of what I was dealing with.

After we were all strapped in, I made the rash decision to go to Georgetown Cupcake.  It was 4:15 p.m. and we were about 7 miles away.  Traveling between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the DC/Northern VA area is a little hairy, but I still had hours to kill, so off we went.  (Ford was in desperate need of a nap, and I knew he would sleep in the car, and the girls needed a break after the park, so it was pretty good timing otherwise.)

We made decent time, about 20 minutes, but once I was on M Street, I realized, "Huh, I'm not really sure where to park."  (There's not a lot of space for vast parking lots in DC.)  Also, I knew there was always a line to get into Georgetown Cupcake, but once I saw it with my own eyes, and looked in the rear view mirror at my three little admirals, I knew there was no way we were completing this adventure.  So I announced THIS cupcake shop was closed, I typed "cupcake" into the Google Maps app, and turned toward Old Town Alexandria and their cupcake shop.

Old Town Alexandria might have felt like too big of an adventure on my own with three kids, but compared to the Georgetown area it was downright tame.

I couldn't figure out how to pay for parking, so I decided to just risk and move as fast as possible.  I plopped Lorelei in the stroller, carried Ford, and Syd walked.  People leaped out of our way.  We got our cupcakes and made it back to the car within the half hour, and thankfully did not have a ticket on our windshield.

Nothing screamed "drive through McDonald's cheeseburgers for dinner" like yesterday, so that's what we had...but only after the girls played with the kids next door while I had an actual adult conversation with my neighbors.  Lorelei ate an entire container of orange Tic Tacs while I chatted.

We went to bed with all of our limbs and wits (mostly) in tact, so I deem yesterday a success.  Here's to Friday (and hoping that Chet makes it home before 10 p.m.)!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I'm not going to lie to you.  Today is one of those days where I want to judo chop the people who post on Facebook things like "Love snuggling my babies!" and "What a great day at the zoo!" in the throat.  (Yikes, that sounds kind of violent.  And I'm not sure I'm flexible enough anymore to be able to reach my foot up to anyone's throat.)

But really, it's one of those days.

I'm not naive.  I know Facebook is a skewed glimpse into the lives of your "friends."  They post what they want you to see, and you compare the worst parts of yourself and your life to their best.  It's not reality.  But instead of "I wouldn't trade this job for the world!", I would gladly work at McDonald's today if you offered me the opportunity.  In fact, I would probably skip to work.

You know what?  I already feel better.  And tomorrow is a new day that does not forecast 100% rain for 12 hours.  Actually, all three kids were napping at the same time for half an hour, during which I was able to clean the kitchen and sit down to start this blog post (I didn't finish before they woke up; Lorelei is awake and sitting in the armchair watching "Frozen" and drinking apple juice).  Sometimes all I need is a naptime break to make the day feel new, and to give me a bit of perspective.

On days like this, I literally write down things I accomplish, otherwise the negative thoughts and feelings win out (Satan is real, y'all).  Here's what's written down for today:

1. Showered before kids woke up
2. Made all three beds before noon
3. Washed four loads of laundry; folded one
4. Made dinner
5. Blogged

I realize that all those things are pretty hefty accomplishments when you have three kids at home, but when your girls are whiny and the baby only naps for 40 minutes at a time (when you know he needs a longer nap than that) and you find yourself saying, sarcastically, to your 4-year old, "Really, Sydney?  Really?  Why do you think it's okay to rub your parmesan-cheese covered hands all over the back of the chair?!"...you know you need to get a hold of yourself.  Get a hold of yourself and focus on the things you have accomplished...and then remind yourself that domestic accomplishments are not your purpose in life in the first place.

Parenting is a hairy business.  For me it is frightening because I realize that I am an imperfect being (yet, a perfectionist) whose job is to shepherd three imperfect little people in an imperfect world.  Perfectionists tend to be really hard on and expect a lot of themselves, as well as others (especially the ones they love the most).  Most of the time I feel so unqualified to teach my children how to do things and how to behave and how to love...because I haven't perfected any of it myself.  I hate when my children mirror my flaws and less-than-stellar behavior; how can I possibly act "good" enough so that I can protecting my children from said flaws and behaviors?

Grace.  It is God's grace that saved us, and it is grace that will save our children from our imperfections, and fill the gaps when we mess up or have no idea what we're doing.  That's pretty much the long and the short of it (what does that mean, anyway?).  But, for me, sometimes it takes writing out a blog post to remember that.

And, just for the record, I still think working at McDonald's for the rest of the day would be a nice break.  But tomorrow I would (hopefully) gladly turn in my apron and trade hair that smells like grease for taking care of these ragamuffins:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ford's 2- and 3-Month Pictures

I haven't posted monthly pictures, but I've been taking them!  Here is a reminder of the super jaundiced 1-month old Ford:
1-Month Old

Now, I'm not great with the camera, so the lighting is not the best anyway, but poor little guy was SO yellow!  Oh, and the 1-month sticker is not actually sticking on his onesie, so that looks silly too.

Just so you know, I give myself a week after their "month-day" to take these monthly pictures (I did the same with Lorelei; I wasn't as good with Sydney).  One week late is the perfect deadline/grace period.  Unfortunately, I went one day past that deadline last month, so here is Ford at 2 months, 8 days:
2-Months Old

 Much less yellow!  Good job, Bubby! 

Poor thing doesn't have much strength in this picture though.  I have a habit of carrying my babies around everywhere, causing them to be really bad at "tummy time" and hitting some of the gross motor skill milestones a little late, but I'm okay with that.  Here's more evidence to the 2-month old blobby (but cute) Ford:

And here he is at three months(!):
3-Months Old

He chose his deer-caught-in-the-headlights facial expression for his 3-month photo shoot.  I think he wears it well.

I'm not going to go into detail about what he's up to at 3-months old, because I'm not sure I can muster the brain power for that right now.  I WILL treat you by including Syd's and Lor's 3-month pictures though!  You're welcome!
Sydney, 3-Months Old
Lorelei, 3-Months Old
As cute as they were, I am happy to not be coordinating bows this time around :-)

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Not too much to report

Hmm, what have we been up to?

Plenty, I suppose, but I feel like most of it will bore you to tears, so I'll refrain from reporting too many details.

This week I've been concentrating on getting Ford to nap alone. (He usually naps in the baby carrier, strapped to me). Now that he's 3-months old, I feel like he's old enough to learn new tricks, tricks that will give my back a reprieve.

It's no picnic teaching a baby to nap, especially when they do not take a pacifier (I am pushing the pacifier, nonetheless), and when you have other (loud) children at home too. Oh, well, such is life.

I had quite a time teaching Lorelei to nap too. I didn't start teaching her until she was about 6-months old, so at least I'm ahead of my own power curve.

Wow, I really feel like I have nothing to say. I think I'm forgetting to mention things I was thinking about mentioning earlier, when I was blogging in my head.

Anyway, we went to a new park this morning. A great park, equipment-wise, but no tree cover, which could be brutal come summer. It's right near the Target I hadn't been to yet, so it was a bonus to have found that particular shopping center on the same outing. (There are two Targets within five miles of our house. It must be my reward for having lived 20 miles away from Target for the last 2.5 years.)

The girls were actually a little bit bad at the park today. Super whiny and did NOT want to listen when it was time to leave. I try not to take it personally when I go through so much effort to pack everyone up for a fun outing and am thanked with whine (not wine, because that would be fine) but SHEESH.

The weather had definitely improved around here. Still light jacket weather, but warm sunshine.

I've started talking about the weather, which is my cue to sign off. Happy Thursday!