Friday, December 3, 2010

12-3-10 Conrad on Faith

Conrad on faith. . .

I overheard him say that he wishes he could walk on water, but only Jesus can do that.

After talking about Dorcas being raised from the dead, Conrad was talking about how Jesus and Nonno were the only other ones raised from the dead.

12-1-10 State of Affairs

The boys are just blossoming in many areas. Conrad's developed a definite interest in letters and combining them into words. Max's vocabulary has exploded to way too many words to count and he uses them in sentences. Caden is sitting up (started about a month ago), reaching for me, and asserting himself in conversation and activities.

It's a very busy time at our house, but it's amazing too. The boys are just changing so much and becoming able to do so much. Max's first molar recently cut through and the other three are starting to cut through. Conrad wrote his name for the first time and I almost cried. Caden will still snuggle his face into my neck and if he's REALLY tired, he'll fall asleep while I'm holding him. I have to hold onto these fleeting baby moments. But the big boy moments are awesome too.

I laugh when Conrad pretends to be a robot and moves like he has hinges and when Max stands at the toilet holding up his shirt so he can pee. I can't imagine ever forgetting these moments, but there are so many of them!!!

I may have a biter on my hands. It's hard to tell if Max is an official biter or not because so far he has only bitten his brothers. I think the offender has to strike at least one non-sibling to be officially declared a biter. It brings up some unusual discussions at our house. I usually try to see if Conrad may have been an instigator in the situation and the other day when I asked Conrad if he did anything to Max before he bit him, he told me, "No, Honest I didn't do anything. Ask God. He knows everything."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11-9-10 The Magic of Mothering

Even with baby #3, it still amazes me that there is something uniquely special about a mother's touch. When Caden is really upset, I can snuggle him really close to me and he relaxes. I guess there's some sort of baby magic too because when I'm tense from the day and Caden snuggles his little face near my neck, the weight of him resting on me makes me fall into a state of calm and I what to freeze-frame those moments, but it's okay that I can't because each age brings about new magical moments. At least moments that make me laugh.

We took the boys out to dinner at Wendy's the other night and Max kept saying we were going to Weinies. Come on, you have to laugh at that! I can't believe how much he's talking. It's fun to be able to communicate with him. He's got so much to say. He absolutely wants to do whatever Conrad does, including cut vegetable during dinner preparation. So far, so good with letting him use a butter spreader to do his "cutting".

Conrad came into our room at 5 o'clock this morning and called me a mean-o because I didn't stay in his bed after he fell asleep. We both got over it quickly and fell right back to sleep. I need to make a plan on how to break him of the habit of coming into our bed at night (it's usually well before 5 a.m.). So far, my only ideas on this are to take him back to his bed every time; I'm not very motivated to do this in the middle of the night. I'll have to think about it some more.

On a lighter note, Chick-fil-A finally opened a store in our area. I treated myself to one of their delicious chicken sandwiches and their specialty lemonade this week. The flavors took me back to memories of my first job in high school. No, I didn't work at Chick-Fil-A. I worked at a tiny store in the mall and Chick-Fil-A was the only place that delivered, so I ate that a lot because I pretty much always worked alone and couldn't leave the store. I can't believe I worked alone and then did the deposit by myself after the mall closed. Does not seem like a good idea. . .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I'm so glad that Max still has all of his teeth! Tonight he took a header right into side of the open back door. It sounded bad when he hit and I held my breath during the two-second delay before he started crying. Within 20 more seconds, there was a little bit of blood coming from the inside of his lower lip. I scooped him up while holding Caden crying in my other arm.

Max has been trying out saying my name, Emily. It's the sweetest little experiment sound as his works to create each syllable. Tonight, he clearly assigned the name Emily to his stuffed bunny. I think I blushed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

10-25-10 Count your many blessings

The most wonderful blessings in my life have names. Sometimesit hits me like a ton of bricks how much God has blessed us with being able to have three children, that they're pretty healthy, and developing like they should.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

10-9-10 God Questions

Whenever an ambulance drives by we pray for the person that is hurt or sick. Sometimes Conrad prays and sometimes I do. Max always chimes in with the "Amen". Tonight, it was my turn. After the prayer, Conrad asked me to ask God who was hurt.

I wish it worked like that. That whenever we had a question for God, we could just ask it and he would send the answer right down. Write it in the clouds maybe, but a verbal answer would be nice too.

Con also asked why there are three different languages. I like to think that this question stemmed from us recently reading the Tower of Babel story in the Bible, but I think I have to give credit to Dora the Explorer. Luckily, the Tower of Babel provided the answer.

These are hard questions to answer to a three-year-old. The other day we did a little science experiment to demonstrate God, us, and sin. It's a mind bender to accurately explain sin to a preschooler.

It's MUCH different having ongoing conversations with your own child about these topics that it is to teach a preschool Sunday School class with other people's children.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

9-29-10 The Day Started in the Middle of the Night

Oh, boy! I have two little ones teething right now. This caused our day to start at 3 o'clock in the morning. My hardest moments in motherhood have been when I have two crying inconsolably at the same time in the middle of the night. Last night was one of those times. It breaks my heart to have to put one of them down while they're crying; I actually feel better about it if I'm still holding them and they're both still crying.

This morning I turned on the light in the nursery and let Max play while I fed Caden. Caden was wide awake so the three of us were just hanging out for a while. The morning before, I solved this problem while setting Max up with his bottle and his "B" in the rocking chair while I sat on the ottoman and fed Caden. It sounds like a short awake stint even when I write it, but, seriously, our house is a nighttime circus and I'm the frazzled ring leader.

12 - Conrad came into our room
1 - Caden woke to eat
2 - still awake because I can't fall back asleep
3 - Caden woke to eat
3:10 - Max woke up screaming (I can only assume it's due to cutting teeth)
4:15 - Caden back to sleep and lied down with Max
7 - Conrad up for the day

The boys were perfectly happy today even with the lack of sleep. I don't think I did too bad myself. But they were all ready for early bedtimes tonight!! Who knows what time tomorrow will start. I did give Caden a formula bottle in addition to his last nursing feeding tonight. I figure he's not getting enough to eat during the day because he's waking twice to eat now and he didn't even do that when he was a newborn.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

9-25-10 Babies Making Baby Food

Tonight I recruited the help of my big boys for making baby food for Caden. It didn't take much recruiting effort, Conrad and Max love to help in the kitchen. For at least a year now, Conrad's been helping me cook by using a butter knife to cut vegetables. This has been a great way for us to spend time together while I'm preparing a meal. Now, Max cannot bear to be left out so he also pulls his chair over to the counter. I let him use a plastic knife. So far, so good. I may trie giving a butter spreader next time and see if he finds that a suitable tool.

Tonight they were cutting green beans to be pureed as baby food. It was a lot of fun!! We talked about why we needed to make this for toothless Caden and how nutritious green beans are. Max chewed on some uncooked beans while we worked and Conrad helped operate the food processor.

I only had a couple of pounds of green beans, but it made 10 servings. It saved me a few bucks for what I would have spent to buy packaged baby food.

Conrad's ready to make applesauce and I'm sure Max will jump right in. I'm glad I didn't wait until the boys were in bed to do this little project, I would have been able to check it off of my to-do list, but it would have been very boring! I wish I would have gotten a pic of my little cooks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

9-17-10 Trial Run

Today we did a trial run to the zoo. Just me and the boys -- no friends for a play date. I was curious how it would go with all three boys and didn't really want witnesses if it didn't go well. My trio of boys surprised me. It was no problem at all. We went specifically to go to the petting zoo section. It was cool to see Conrad and Max's reactions to the chickens and goats. Conrad is fascinated by the whole concept of "laying eggs" and he enjoyed the responsibility of brushing the goats. Max was more stand-offish with the goats and we couldn't go into the pen with the stroller anyway. Max was more into making animal sounds with each animal that we saw.

Caden, well, he's just happy to stroll along as long as he's included at lunchtime! We had geese and a squirrel try to join us for lunch. Here's a tip: Don't throw a pretzel to the geese as you sit down to eat your lunch. The geese were not apprehensive about coming right up to the kids at all. I told Conrad that if he got scared because they were so close, just yell and they'll go away. This worked and Max though it looked like fun. It was a noisy lunch.

It got really noisy when a squirrel got too close for Max's comfort. The squirrel is more used to toddlers than Max is to squirrels. Max squirmed and then got upset. I had to shew the little animal away. I must have looked like Wonder Woman to Max. I probably looked like psycho mom a few minutes later when I had to run after Max who had decided to climb the play equipment that he was way too little for! I climbed down from the jungle gym with a baby on each hip. The big one was protesting with his entire body.

Aside from that incident, the day was glorious. Conrad even learned to spell the word zoo. We left the zoo with everybody smiling and the car lulled them to sleep. We'll be going back again soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ahhhh. MOPS tech support wants to call me tomorrow to walk through some online things with me. Yes, yes, you can call me tomorrow!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9-9-10 Preschool? Whatever you need to call it

This morning I loaded up our car and took two of my boys to their first day of school. . . sort of school.

It was hard, but in a different way. There was a feeling of relief for the level of productivity that was about to happen. I also felt joy in how much Conrad was looking forward to it and leaving them both with smiles on their faces.

Monday, August 16, 2010

8-15-10 We made it to the beach!

We took our first adventure to the beach with ALL three boys. I had been apprehensive about this, figuring the chances of it being a relaxing day were very slim. We knew going in that things could turn stressful fast -- traffic, inconsolable crying, baby too hot, toddler not liking the sand, and basically only two parents potentially being pulled three different directions. Half-way through our Sunday, against the advise of the coin, we decided to just do it. We packed up and were on our way. . .

Knowing how many things could be unpleasant about such an outing has put going to the beach very low on my list of priorities this summer. Hence, mid-August and our first trip. For all of the things that could have made the trip unpleasant, not a single one of them came to fruition. . . I didn't even mind nursing in the heat. The boys were troopers and just enjoyed the day. I think all three of them are meant to be by the beach (I know their parents are!). Caden happily hung out under the umbrella. Max played in the sand and ran toward the water to get his toes wet as the waves came in. He was giddy with joy when he was further out in the water and Joe let him lie on the boogie board. And Conrad, he's an official surfer-dude now. He was "catching waves" on his boogie board and traded in his child size board for an adult one early in the day. He also used the word "dude" quite a bit. Joe blames me for this flashback to the '80's.

I am so glad that we went. I got a little bit of sun and felt refreshed. Plus, I got to watch my husband and my boys having a great time. That fills me up.

Conrad's already asking when we can go back to the beach. Now, I'm thinking of it as no problem. We can do it again. I've learned not to try to recreate times like this because it only leads to disappointment. Instead, I'm going to remember this day and enjoy it for the memory that we made. And let future trips be their own unique experience.

Monday, August 9, 2010

8-9-10 Caden Eats Baby Cereal for the First Time

Oh, who needs to rent a good comedy when you can watch your almost four-month-old eating cereal for the first time and watch your seventeen-month-old try to relive the experience! Caden started waking in the night recently and I could tell he was ready to add cereal to his menu plan. So tonight was the departure from me being his only food source. Cereal entered the equation and Caden seemed very happy about it!

Caden ate a good amount of the single grain. I new these would be moments I'd want to catch on film and even debated waiting until tomorrow night to start cereal so I could charge my camera; instead, I grabbed my phone and used the camera on that. It only took a few bites for Caden to get the idea of how to eat this new food. It also started out as a rather clean experience, then I asked Max if he wanted to help me feed the baby. He was happy to assist. As we guided the spoon to Caden's mouth, I was mostly pulling it back and Max was plunging it forward. Then, Max asked for a bite. I gave him one, expecting him to be hugely disappointed. I was wrong, he liked it. It really surprised me since he could barely stand to eat the stuff when he was a baby. Max liked the cereal so much that as I was moving the spoon toward Caden, Max's mouth was following it! He made me laugh out loud with his mouth open like a baby bird and going toward a moving target. I let him have a couple of bites and then told him the rest was for Caden. Apparently, Max took that to mean that the rest that was on the spoon was for Caden because as I was holding the little bowl, Max put his face down toward it and stuck his tongue in the bowl to get more cereal. This really had me laughing. He didn't quite finish his dinner but he was going to such measures to eat something ,that seems to me, would taste like paste.
Did he really want this paste-like substance or did he just want what Caden was getting? Isn't that the model for many sibling questions??

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

7-15-10 Bye-Bye Pull-Ups

So, a couple of weeks ago I took one of those colossal parental leaps. I let my three-year-old wear his underwear to bed instead of a pull-up. Conrad has been potty-trained for a year now (which still makes me break into the happy dance!), but the nighttime pull-ups have been my security blanket; afterall, I'm the one that has to wash soiled pajamas and bedding. Since Conrad was still waking up with a we pull-up about 40% of the time, I honestly had no intention of giving up the fabulously absorbant , "pants" any time soon. However, my husband had other ideas. . . and on this particular day, he declared that "we" were done using pull-ups. In a moment of weakness, all I said was, "If we're going to do it, we may as well start tonight." Easy to say at 2:00 in the afternoon.

By the time bedtime rolled around, I wanted to layer Conrad's bed with extra towels and was wondering if it was too much to put plastic down. I didn't do this because I didn't want my son to sense my fear: more laundry on top of the already overflowing hampers. Plus, he had been asking for a while if he could wear unerwear to bed and doing his best to convince me that he wouldn't wet the bed. So, we did it. No water cup at bedtime any more and I tucked my preschooler into his inadequately waterproofed bed and hoped for the best.

It worked! Can you believe it? It worked for weeks. I would love to delve into the psychological implications of him regularly wetting during the night when he was wearing a pull-up and then not at all once he started wearing underwear. Actually, let's be honest. . . I don't need to know why it worked out that way I'm just glad it did. Well, it did until the other night.

I got a little too comfortable and was basking in the reality of only buying two sizes of diapers and not having the additional cost of pull-ups and without thinking, I let Conrad take a water cup with him to bed. Since we have three kids three and under, nighttime at our house is sometimes eventful. This was the case one night last week. Caden woke up in the middle of the night and apparently while I was feeding him, Conrad went and crawled into our bed. When I saw him there, I decided I would be more comfortable if I went and slept in his bed instead of squeezing onto my side. I was completely unsuspecting when I slipped into his bed just wanting to get back to sleep and felt moisture soaking through my clothes. I launched myself out of the twin bed and marched down to my room to wake my husband to tell him that I was right. "We" should not be done with pull-ups! When I saw my pillow, I lost my enthusiam and, again, just wanted to get back to sleep. I pushed Conrad over a few inches and as my head hit the pillow - it was deja vous: wet clothes. He had peed AGAIN in my bed. At that point, I was awake -- wide awake and went straight to the shower.

And so began my day while it was still dark.