Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Jane!

I can't believe it's been a year since this sweet little lady officially joined our family.

It's been a whirlwind of a year, and there's been lots of adjustment as we figure out the best way to make our new addition part of the family.

We love our sweet Jane. She isn't always predictable, easy, or even happy, but the joy that she has added to our lives makes our hearts full.

Jane is her Mama's little buddy. One of my favorite things about her is how much she loves her mom. We have a special bond, and I hope it will be something we share throughout our lives.

I have enjoyed watching her grow and develop; each new change has been magical again. It's not like the first baby, when a parent is impatient to get to the next milestone. And with the twins, I was overwhelmed and couldn't appreciate as much because I was just fighting to survive. So it's been nice to have a little one I can truly just enjoy.

Every month, new skills develop. This month has Jane making the transition from infant to toddler. Jane now crawls! Not far or fast yet, but she can definitely get from place to place.

Jane has also added the words "nana" (banana) and "NANANANA!" (NO, NO, NO, NO!) to her vocabulary, along with lip smacking when she wants something to eat or drink. She also nods or shakes her head and is attempting to sign new words. I am loving that we can communicate more now because it cuts down on our frustrations.

She's still a little bug, 16 lbs 13 oz. but it hopefully means I just get to keep holding her for longer.


We had a great time celebrating her birthday. We decided to make lunch at Feldman's Deli a tradition. It was a hit.

We had just a simple party, with only the grandparents. All the kids picked her a gift and I made her an individual cake to dig into.

As her babyhood comes to a close, I am excited to see what the next stages of her life brings. She's been such a fun, sweet, necessary member of our family and we just can't get enough.

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Sporty Kids


In lieu of paying for preschool this year, I've opted instead to use my degree and teach the twins myself, and use the money we are aging towards kid activities. Our first round, I let everyone pick their own. William, no surprise, chose karate.


He has loved it and vows to return back in the fall and/or once we find a class that is better suited to our schedule.
 I got tired of waking 3 of my kids up from naps to go to class. But it was fun!

Lily REALLY wanted to do gymnastics and I told Caleb he got to choose between karate or gymnastics to simplify our schedule.
They are so cute in their little class!!!
And I've loved watching them improve throughout the last 3 months.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Day in the Life

I always wonder what I actually do all day. The days feel crazy and I'm always doing something...so I decided to document one to remember just how crazy it actually is. *WARNING: LONG*

6:08. Wake up, too tired to get out of bed after a late twins club meeting last night. Jane is awake, but happy, so I read the news and check my email until I get her at 6:30.

6:30-6:45 nurse the baby.
Change diaper, get her dressed.
Caleb and Lily are awake at this point and want toys out of Clutter Jail. So they do the required chore and Lily picks her glass slippers, Caleb picks a recorder. 
Start a load of laundry.

7:00 Cricket whines so I let her out to go potty. William wants to earn $, so it is his job to feed her. I remind him to do so, but he forgets the part about the dog needing to be involved. :)
Grab a banana so I can have some food today.

7:10. Remember about Teacher appreciation week. Throw something together with what we have around the house. 
7:20. Get ready to exercise, but by the time I'm dressed, kids want to eat. So we get the kids fed. 3 bowls of cereal (each!) and many bananas later, I have a minute to eat a granola bar. Caleb is pretending to be a lion.

7:45 put chicken in the crockpot for dinner. It's cinco de Mayo so we're having mole enchiladas.

7:50. Switch the laundry to the dryer. 
Still haven't had a chance to exercise, though I did decide on my workout.

8:00. Remind the kids to finish getting ready so we can get to school on time.

Clean up breakfast. Remind kids AGAIN to get their shoes on. Put a jacket on the baby, dog in the kennel.

810. Get 4 kids plus neighbor boy into the bike 

8:15. Bike the kids to school.

8:30 After putting away the bike, start mole sauce for dinner baby in jumperoo.

8:35. Check on Dandelion. Clean cage, let him out in the yard to play. Water the garden.

Finish sauce. Baby is getting a bit fussy so I am playing peekaboo while I stir.

8:45 Referee a fight about Lily wanting Caleb to get out of his room and not wearing her princess dresses. Caleb is crying and then spits on Lily. Finish drinking water bottle #1 of the day

Check sauce again.

Lily needs rescuing from off Williams bed.
More fighting and door slamming with the twins.

Get Caleb a banana. Finish sauce. Clean up my mess.

9:00 Play with Baby. We are working on crawling.
Caleb wants to watch a show so he has to clean up his room and the living room first. Mostly he just plays. I get roped into singing Aladdin songs. Because the twins are obsessed right now.  Take a few minutes to check Facebook for news, deals, friends, and because it's one of my duties with the twins club to keep the page updated,  answer questions, etc.

915. Caleb and Lily are arguing over which princess to play with. Lily wants to be Elsa, but Caleb says no because Elsa has no prince. 

Change Jane and put clean sheets on her bed put her down for her morning nap.

9:30 Kids finally clean up their mess so I allow them to watch a quick show while I work on a project. I'm making a board book for Jane's birthday. This involves me taking some photos and ordering the prints from Costco. Water bottle #2.



10-11:30. 45-minute strength training workout at the park. I keep getting interrupted by neighbors and my children. I can see Jane on the baby monitor and she sleeps this whole time.

11-110 Caleb cried uncontrollably because he either got a splinter or stepped on a bee. When he calms down, I call Steve to grab a few things from Costco.

11:25. William gets home from school. Informs me he is going to friend Wally's house. Luckily, Wally's mom is cool with this. Caleb and Lily pick me a bouquet of dandelions. Finish water bottle #3.



11:30. Wake up Jane so she will overlap afternoon naps with Caleb and Lily. Grab bikes for the kids and head back to the park. 

11:35. Nurse baby at the park.

11:44-1220. Help Caleb practice riding his bike while Jane and Lily play on the grass. 

We find 2 spiders and an ant on the way home. This is a big deal.

Put the bikes away, catch Dandelion , and let Cricket it to go potty.

12:25. Kids are in desperate need of food and luckily leftovers will satisfy them today. I get chicken noodle soup since I am trying to lose the last bit of baby weight.

12:45. Call Steve and my dad to sort out weekend plans.

12:50. Kids are bribed with 1/3 cookie each to help me with lunch dishes. I finished wiping the table and counters and Jane while Caleb and Lily go potty and get ready for naps.

12:55. Read 2 stories (Llama llama time to share and Olaf). Tuck the kiddos into bed.
Jane loves to play peekaboo with Caleb and dolls with Lily.


1:15. I hop in the bath and give Jane a few toys while I soak my tired muscles. Jane finds a rock on the bathroom floor and a ifs hit out of her mouth. Yuck! She is entertained my hitting things the on the  sink. 

1:30 I get out and get dressed. Throw my hair in a bun and put on a bit of makeup. Jane needs a diaper change so I change her indie while I'm at it since she is covered in lunch.

Jane and I attempt to put away her laundry. Jane mostly just gets into things. I decide she doesn't need so many clothes so I toss some into my DI/Garage sale pile, and the worst ones in the trash.

2:00. William will be home soon, so I figure I'll finish the laundry later and head upstairs so I can avoid Cricket barking when he walks in. Decide to shred the chicken. Eat way more than I should. Finish water bottle #4.

2:15. William gets home. He is very excited to tell me all about his plays are with Wally. We start William's homework. William sings me a song he learned at school.

A package arrives. Cricket barks and I sush her to keep the twins asleep. I sort the contents and put them away.

2:30. Jane is ready for a nap at this point, so I put her down.

Attempt to keep William on task with his homework. While he is working, I sort the mail and do a 15-minute decluttering.

3:00. Caleb wakes up. He is motivated to clean up so he can watch a show and I can get a few things done. By the time they finish, Lily is also awake. They watch Miles from Tomorrowland.

I check my cleaning app to see what still needs to get done. 


I've actually done pretty well today. Since the kids are awake and the weekly zone is the bedrooms, I start with the boys' room.

4:00. I sort a drawer I haven't dealt with in months, finding kindergarten paperwork about making sure kids are ready. Feeling guilty about the last hour of tv, we turn of the show so I Candace them do an activity...but Jane wakes up.

I run to the van to grab William's violin book. Getting distracted by the mess from our trip last weekend, I throw away all the trash while I'm there. 

4:30. Feed the baby. During this time I also check Facebook and make an appointment to get the RAV4 serviced.

Change Jane's diaper.

4:45. Start on William's first violin lesson. Decide he needs his nails trimmed. While I'm trimming his nails, Lily needs help in the bathroom.

Finish violin lesson. William has learned a few things and also still thinks this is fun. Success!

The other kids are luckily still happily playing in the toy room. I feel guilty for ignoring them and play with Jane. William goes upstairs to play with play dough. Lily wants new batteries in her princess carriage but we don't have the right kind. Lily throws a fit. Caleb and Lily fight about something.

5:30. I run upstairs to get dinner put together. Kids stay happy.

Put the enchiladas in the oven, slice up some pineapple.

5:45. Jane wants a banana, so I put her in her high chair with some food.

5:56. Steve calls to say he is coming home early for Cinco de Mayo. I tell The kids to clean up and I will make Brazillian Lemonade.

William is the only one that cleans up. Caleb and Lily alternate playing and crying.

I make a terrible mess in the kitchen.

Steve arrives home with flowers for me for Mother's Day and a load of supplies from Costco.

6:30 eat dinner. I get up 3x to help the kids. Caleb and Lily finally decide to go downstairs and clean up their mess so they can have lemonade. 

7:00 Steve gets a bath for Jane while I do dishes. Caleb and Lily still aren't cleaning up.

Jane doesn't like the bath today so I get her and she just wants her mama. But I give her to Steve so I can tackle some of the kitchen disaster.

7:15 We give up on Caleb and Lily cleaning up and I put the lemonade in the fridge. I resolve to take away all the toys and put them in clutter jail.
7:30 Steve bathes the big kids while I nurse Jane and get her ready for bed. She's done for the day and so am I.

I put all the toys on the floor downstairs in clutter jail, including Caleb's special elephant blanket. I tell him this and he cries. However, I remind him that if he will help me clean up in the kitchen, he can earn it back.

I finish up the dishes, but the dishwasher is full so I just leave the rest in the sink. I'm too tired today. Usually I don't leave dishes but the last hour has been too draining. Steve reads scriptures and stories. Caleb and Lily aren't listening and get sent to bed.

7:40 I go talk to Caleb and Lily about their behavior today. I am really mad but am proud that I was able to stay calm.  They resolve to do better tomorrow. I tuck them in. 

Lily throws a fit about something and keeps turning her light on. I pull the chain so she sang turn it on. Lily kicks the door for ten minutes and yells at me to lock it. 
I give William a goodnight kiss.

William forgot to feed Cricket so I do it. Lily is still kicking the door.

Steve and I decide to ignore her and sit outside to read. After 15 minutes or so, the kids come outside crying, thinking we left them. We remind them we wouldn't leave them alone and send them back to bed.

Lily is playing in the bathroom sink. It is full to the brim and water is all over the floor. I make her wipe up the mess and drain the sink, putting Lily back in bed. Lily slams her door.

8:45. Steve comes back inside and we watch a documentary about the Beatles in the 1960s. I eat a chocolate pudding cup...my "dessert". I finish water bottle #5. I'm surprised I manage to stay awake. I think it's all the adrenaline from Lily's antics. 

9:30. I'm still not tired so Steve puts on an episode of Kimmy Schmidt. I make it through the rest of the episode I fell asleep in last time, and then I'm totally asleep on the couch. I wake up at 11:30, let Cricket out to go potty, and go downstairs to bed. It's the end of a VERY long day and I'm exhausted.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Jane: 11 months

Jane turned 11 months while we were at Disneyland. Lucky girl!

Here's what's new this month:

Jane has officially been diagnosed with Reynauds Syndrome. This pretty much means her feet (and sometimes hands) turn purple when temps are below 72. Seriously, that's her baseline. Colder than that and we need 1-2 layers of socks. 
Here she is in a 72* house in a warm bath after being outside. At this point we are just watching it, but if things don't improve soon, Jane may have to take blood pressure meds to help her circulation. We've had an EKG to rule out heart issues, and her oxygen levels are tested regularly, but so far, they have been normal.
Jane can now roll over both ways! Lots of physical therapy has helped with this new skill. Rolling is a struggle and makes Jane VERY unhappy, but at least she's improving. Our PT thinks the Reynauds is related to her motor issues, but the Pediatrician isn't so sure.
Jane can also sometimes scoot backwards on a wood or tile floor, and is working on trying to learn to pull up, but we're not quite there yet.

Jane is a great eater! She even likes sushi!

Her favorite foods are anything I'm eating. The only thing she refuses is a bottle...and formula. She went on a nursing strike after we were reunited in CA, but after many tries, she finally gave in at Disney's Baby Care Center. DL for the win!

Jane has been such a happy baby lately. Leaving her has been really helpful for her  social skills. Jane now waves (even to strangers!) and is much happier leaving mom for a minute or two. So that's a plus. She also signs the word "more", which usually means more food, so that's been good as well.
I just LOVE seeing that happy face and those 2 little teeth!