Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Something I'm Sure You Other Moms Already Knew

One of the hardest jobs I have right now is dealing with the mess the kids make when they eat. Food ends up everywhere at meatimes and snacktimes, both by accident and on purpose, and it drives me nuts because I have to clean everything five times a day: faces, hands, chairs, the table and the floor. I try to at least pick non-messy snack foods to give myself a little break, but today I failed miserably. A giant Ziploc bag of Oreos appeared in our refrigerator the other day and for some reason I temporarily lost my mind this afternoon and gave them to the kids for a snack. I thought it would be a "fun" treat. But besides being completely non-healthy, Oreos simply do not mix with toddlers. I should have stopped after giving them the very first cookie, but I panicked after seeing their hands and faces covered in slimy black crumbs. So of course I did what makes no sense at all: I gave them another cookie. And then another one. And that's when I noticed the inside of Daniel's ears were caked with cookie mush and realized that now I would have to give everyone a bath in order to get them clean.

Thus ended the Oreo experiment.

New Skills

Yesterday I needed a quick distraction for the kids so I could get started on supper. So I tossed a doll and a diaper to each child and informed them their babies needed a diaper change. I've done this before with Joe and it's hilarious to watch him attempt to put the diaper on the doll.

Imagine my surprise when about 5 minutes later Joe brings his doll to me with the diaper put on correctly, sticky tabs and all!

Other than pinning the doll's arms to her body with the diaper, everything else was positioned correctly. I will be sure to tuck this memory away to let Joe's future wife know he mastered this skill at age 2 and will have no excuse for not helping to change his own children's diapers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Nurturers

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kids 1, Mom 0

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A "Normal" Life

Life almost seems normal around here these days. My memories of life a year ago are a blur, not only because of the day-to-day care of a 16-month-old and two infants, but because of the endless doctor visits (for shots, sickness, and pink eye), ECI visits for Joe and Daniel, CPS case worker visits for all three, CASA worker visits for Kiki, visits from our case manager, and taking Kiki to see her mother. We still have people coming over every week, but not nearly as often as before.

So now you are wondering, "What do they do with the extra time?"

Well, we wear bowls on our heads:
We help make coffee:

We clean the floor:

We dance on the table:

And sometimes we have to go to Time-Out:

All perfectly normal, typical activities in our household.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hairdo and Hair-don't

Kiki's hair continues to be a challenge for me. I've been very lazy lately, just putting it up in a single ponytail. But because I need to start practicing other styles and because Kiki needs to get used to sitting in her chair while I do her hair, Sunday morning I attempted five twists:

It's still a fairly basic style and the parts aren't very neat, but I was satisfied with the results. It took about 45 minutes. The hair on the very back of her head is still several inches shorter than the rest, so that part is a little hard to do. But it was all worth it just to watch her smile and shake her head to feel the twists and barrettes hitting her head.

This is what happened recently when I washed Kiki's hair and didn't comb it out until the next morning:

I love the little corkscrew spirals! But I definitely won't let this happen again!

Friday, January 9, 2009


It's been a bit of a rough adjustment for me this week after two weeks of having Billy home to help out. Monday morning I realized that once again I was responsible for changing every diaper, filling every drink cup, cleaning up every mess, and settling every argument. For the first few days this week I became so weary of saying "no" and "stop" and "share" and "be nice". I was starting to lose my mind, but now I've regrouped and I'm using these strategies to help:

1. "Ignore". I asked Joe's therapist today if it's better to ignore him or tell him to stop when he throws a tantrum and kicks his legs. She said to help him label his feelings and then just ignore the behavior if he's not hurting anyone. I've started applying it to other situations and it's very freeing.

2. Sitting with the kids when they eat lunch. Meals were just becoming ridiculous with plates flipped over, forks flung across the table, and food thrown. Today I found that when I sit at the table with them I can intervene more quickly and model correct behavior.

3. Perspective. There's always someone else out there who has a bigger parenting challenge then I do. Yesterday I watched a show about a family that has 5 daughters: a 12-year-old and 2-year-old quadruplets and another program that featured a family with 6 children ages 5 and under: a set of twins, a set of triplets, and one single. That's just crazy, I thought. I know many people think that what I'm doing is crazy. But really, it's all about perspective.

4. Nap time. Somehow over Christmas break all three kids transitioned to one single nap time all together in the afternoon, which means two hours of peace for me.

Finally, I am reminding myself what a tremendous BLESSING it is to have been given these three beautiful children to raise. Somewhere, somehow my little babies have turned into toddlers, and my little toddler is starting to look and act more like a "kid". (You know what I mean!) The future excites me: I can't wait to see the little people they will become, but I am also enjoying who they are right now, this day, this moment.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Texas Winter Garden Fun

Our tomato plants from last spring are still producing fruit. We never got rid of them because the plants never completely dried up and we were curious to see how long they would grow.

The other day we were playing in the back yard when I noticed a green tomato with a bite missing. Could it be the work of another caterpiller-zilla? Somehow I don't think so . . .

A-ha! It's a Kiki-zilla caught in the act. At least this time she's eating a ripe one.

Happy New Year!