Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Devon, 3-29-12

As of Thursday, we can no longer shock people in line at the grocery store by telling them we have three kids under 2.

This may be confusing for Devon, as his actual swimming-and-cake second birthday party was held a month ago when Mama, Papa, Uncle Sven, Aunt Laura, and the cousins were here.

So although we told him for a day last month that it was his birthday, on Thursday he had friends and family calling, texting, and messaging him birthday wishes, and several long distance songs. He even sang along: "A birf-dee, a birf-dee, a birf-dee..." He's shown no interest in holding up two fingers to show people he's "this many", but we're working on it.

POOF! About three seconds ago I was nursing him on a blanket in the Kentucky Arboretum and he was in a striped onesie with "Daddy's Home Run Hero" printed on it. Now he's finishing his breakfast in his booster and slyly looks at me before he picks up his sippy and chucks it onto the floor with the cheekiness of a frat boy crushing a beer can on his head. "No throwing sippies," he admonishes me soberly, reminding me of the rule he has just thrown to the wind. "NO throwing sippies!"

I will not characterize any year of any of my children's lives by a certain T-word that many people associate with being two. The past few weeks, however, have been interesting. The arrival of the first of his two-year-old molars seemed to coincide with the sudden departure of his omnivorous appetite. Even his beloved "gummy vitie", the multivitamin that he loved and asked for a dozen times a day now grosses him out because he licked it one day and it stuck to his finger.

His vocabulary is growing daily, as are his opinions. As a baby, I knew what he wanted because he only wanted three things. Now, he takes me by the hand and tugs me gently. "Where is clown-the-cars? Where did clown-the cars go? Shall we find it?" he asks, so we go to the closet and get down one of his favorite toy sets. He has his own names for everything, and Craig and I find it's easier to use them. It makes for some bizarre conversations.

Krista- Where's clown-the-cars?

Craig-Here's clown-the-cars car. Where's clown-the-cars clown?

We laughed at the way he asked to go outside because it sounded like he was asking for "some cider", so now he says it that way every time because he enjoys getting the laugh: "I want some si-daaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

We swim in the pool together daily. He's in a flotation suit filled with enough foam to rescue a beached orca. I'm shedding my coverup and running for the water because I'm wearing the same old suit I bought a month before I found out I was pregnant with him.

I try to loosen his grip around my neck and make him more comfortable in the water. "Mommy hug you!" he gasps, reaching for me. "I want huggin' The Mommy!"

Devon still loves all kinds of balls, but his second favorite toy is anything with wheels. He tries to sing along with the "myoo-cuss" we play for him:

"Wheels. Round and Round. Round and Round. Wheels..."

Devon doesn't always exercise the best judgement around his sisters, but he loves them and is always glad to see them. Right now a favorite game is grabbing whatever toy they have when he decides he wants it. Sharing will come later, I suppose, and it'll be a valuable tool for survival in a family with three kids born sixteen months apart. For right now, Devon enjoys being the biggest, strongest, and most coordinated.

As the big brother, he's gotta have a few perks. "The sissies!" he says when I come get him up from his nap. "I want huggin' the sissies!" Lucky girls. They get about twenty hugs a day from him.

My little boy is too old for a diaper bag and a rear-facing car seat. He takes a sippy and a snack to the child care in his Thomas backpack. He chatters on and on about his friends and chases Ally kitty when I'm not looking. I'm hoping that his recent quirks are just him exploring the newness of having choices.

"I want milk sippy!" he says when I show him a water sippy, so I go to the fridge to hand him a milk sippy.

"No," he says dismissively. "I want water sippy!" I reach for the water sippy I set on the counter a moment ago.

"No," he sniffs with a princely hand wave. "I want milk sippy."

We've given up on juice for the time being. Imagine the headaches if he had THREE choices!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Roundhouse Kick to the Face: March 27, 2012

I'll begin with this week's picture of Carrie and Melina sitting still.

It's my only one. Now that we've have two crawling babies, they're exploring all the different things that this can mean. Carrie, especially, is enjoying her new role in our family.


I've posted before that she is more even tempered than Melina, and sometimes wondered if she gets ignored too often when my other two act more needy. Well, I'm oddly comforted by the fact that she now throws her weight around. Carrie's always had 1 lb. 4 oz. more junk-in-her-trunk than Melina. She's the Peter Paul Rubens to Melina's Venus de Milo.

Believe me, in the past few days she has not been ignored. I've seen her grab a fistful of Melina's hair in each hand, push her sister's face into the carpet, and then climb on top of her in a move that is all Chuck Norris. I don't have this on camera because I'm moving to break up Twin Smackdown before someone gets hurt.

Carrie's a big fan of the kitchen, with the cool feel of the tile against her legs and bottom and all the doors that Devon leaves open for them to investigate.

I try to see her joy first and think about the mess later. So, I run to grab the camera, and as I frame a shot around the corner shoots Melina. They giggle and flap until I decide that the hard floor is a less appropriate place for wrestling and suggest a different venue as well as a different toy.

Where is Devon when all this is going on? Right there with them. He likes to sit still even less than Carrie and Melina do. I tried to get a picture of the three of them once this week. My camera was accidentally set on video, so it captured Devon doing an unexpected somersault right between his sisters. His big toe grazed Melina's cheek and she did a characteristic full-body startle, flipping over on her back and flopping around like a trout.

Yes, Chuck Norris would feel right at home at my house lately.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bermuda Triangle, March 16, 2012

It even has it's own hand gesture: hands extended in front of me making a triangle with thumbs and forefingers.

It's Bermuda Triangle time. Any hour between 7 am and 9 pm when all three kids are asleep. We call it that because, sadly, it can be pretty rare these days. All three kids are pretty good sleepers, and they get the sleep they need. It's just that sleep cycles often rotate randomly so that no matter who's passed out in the next room, someone is always awake.

When all three are sleeping, all three wake up at the same time, too. That's fun. Devon begs for Carrie and Melina to come in his bed. I relent and they tumble and laugh while I bend over them, poised to yank one of the girls out if she's getting squished.

This week made me feel spread a little thinly. I expected to accomplish so much more: make more baby food, spend time on the back porch playing with Devon, do my ballet posture toning video every day. I'm blending sweet potatoes this afternoon and flapped my arms like Swan Lake for ten minutes on Tuesday. Devon's birthday toys never seem to come up off the floor. I swear I sorted the toys and vacuumed the pen an hour ago, and it still looks like this.

I just want to say, "It's okay, Pink New Baby. Don't jump! Life is worth living, even if it's a little messier than you'd like it to be."

The highlight of my week was opening the boxes of 6-9 month clothes that kind friends and family have handed down to us and filling the dresser with pairs of sweet summer outfits. My big girls are so blessed to have thoughtful people in their lives who give so generously to them.

Other than that, we didn't do much. We had lunch at Sam's Club TWICE this week because our usual park date got rained out and loading all the kids in the car is too much effort to waste.

I'm at the lucky stage where I can change my mind on where to go and nobody minds because nobody really remembers where we were going anyway. Myself included, sometimes.

Sleeping isn't the only thing that all three can do at once. It's as rare as Bermuda Triangle time, but sometimes all three cry. Babies get new teeth. Devon's feelings get hurt when I won't let him take out all three of his messy birthday toys at once and coat the house evenly in tiny toy pieces. That's when I grab a twin in each arm and yell "Trifecta, Baby!" in my best Dick Vitale impression.

Thankfully, the rare fussy times pass as quickly as a Florida downpour. I'm blessed to have happy kids. Ones that, very occasionally, magically pass out for two hours to let mommy drink a cup of coffee, paint her toenails, and write a quick blog post.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Discovery Day, 3-10-2012

Carrie and Melina are seven months old!

It makes sense that they call foot soldiers "infantry". Whether or not the connection is deliberate, we're yielding our territory to a formidable invading force. We've gone from one mobile child to three in the last month.

Carrie's been crawling since Monday and surprised me by sitting up several times today.

Melina's not far behind; she's put in some serious time perfecting her crawling form this week. Then she flips over on her back and does crunches, wanting to sit but not sure how to start the process.

I'm taking a lot of blurry pictures. It's impossible to get anybody to hold still...

...and if I want a shot I'd better move FAST! Forget cropping. Disregard backgrounds (notice the toilet in the back of the sweet Carrie picture!!!). I'm developing both speed and agility. A few more months of documenting these milestones and I'll be ready to go on Dancing With the Stars.

The girls had their seven month checkup on Thursday.

Carrie Annabelle weighed in at 16 pounds, 2 ounces. She's gained exactly ten pounds since birth.

Melina Mae tipped the scales at 14 pounds, 14 ounces. She's gained exactly ten pounds since birth.

Am I the only one who thinks the weight gain in even increments is crazy? Last time it was eight pounds apiece. These girls love their even numbers.

Seven months is a great age. This morning everyone was up and fed breakfast before 8. I was emptying the dirty mop water into the sink at 9 and showered ten minutes after that. I feel like I've rediscovered the morning. It gives me hope that someday we'll be able to stir out of doors before 10.

With the schedule so much calmer, I can take more time to enjoy the routine.

Instead of rushing through bath time, we splash in the water and I kiss those precious little rolls! Just weeks more and I can bathe them at the same time in the big tub. I can't wait!

The girls take two short naps to Devon's one long nap, so we have an hour of girl time in the early afternoon. On Thursday we spent it organizing the closet. Believe it or not, that's the "after" picture. There's just no way to make mismatched bins and boxes of clothes look any neater.

Devon enjoys throwing balls for the girls to chase. He leans in so Carrie can touch his head, which makes her scream in delight. "Cowie feel my head!" he chortles, and then runs to Melina so she can do the same. "You so funny!" he giggles.

Today is a special day. In a few minutes when everyone's up I'll open the box of sprinkled donuts and cook the sausages. We'll brew some coffee and spoon feed the kids, reminiscing about life one short year ago.

March 10, 2011 was discovery day. The sonogram tech blew our minds by giving us a number before a gender at our twenty week ultrasound, and just like that we were parents of three kids.

What a day to celebrate!

In unrelated news, a stork is apparently visiting our house again.

Literally, this time. NOT figuratively. I promise.