Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016

We celebrated Christmas with both sides of our family and had a wonderful time doing it!  The week leading up to Christmas was rough...really rough.  It started off with an emergency room visit for William as his latest Superman stunt earned him three staples in the head.  The whole ordeal was about as fun as you'd imagine and we were just so thankful it wasn't worse.  Once things calmed down from that fiasco my sister and I took the children to the Festival of Lights at the zoo, which concluded with a wicked stomach bug taking down me and the kids, one by one like sad little dominos.  Momming when you're sick is completely miserable but momming sick kids when you're sick is about the worst.  But luckily the kids bounced back quickly and I wasn't too far behind them.

Festival of Lights, a few hours before we all got sick (Henry was giving strong signs here..)

We kicked off our Christmas festivities on Christmas Eve at my brother and his newly minted finacee's home for dinner.  We didn't see them on Christmas day so it was special to be able to see them to exchange gifts, celebrate their engagement and eat an amazing dinner.  The wheels fell off at a predictable time so Tom and I threw the kids in the car and got them just in time for bed.  Reese and I decorated our cookies for Santa and she was curious and excited climbing into bed that night (which turned out to be the last night she ever slept in her crib...which is another story for another time).

After Reese was in bed Santa got busy and excitedly put the presents under the tree.  Definitely a mental pat on the back for wrapping presents early this year so we could enjoy a stress free evening. We relaxed with some red wine and Christmas Vacation...the perfect Christmas Eve!

We didn't go overboard with gifts this year (and actually we never do) and as always I'm glad we didn't.  The kids were just excited enough and although the boys didn't really know what was going on, it was a ton of fun to experience Reese's first Christmas where she was truly excited and happy about her gifts.  After opening presents we enjoyed a fancy bacon breakfast and playing with the new toys.  We host Christmas Day dinner every year and I always make Pioneer Woman's lasagna, so as the kids happily played I snuck off here and there to get a head start on dinner and frantically pick up the house.

Our families showed up in the afternoon and we had such a great time I barely took any pictures.  William refused to sit in his high chair or let anyone hold him but me so I basically spent the entire time holding him, but it's all good because I still had one whole hand free for wine :)  Holidays can be so stressful and exhausting and although it was certainly hectic (I mean, what isn't hectic with three toddlers) I am immensely grateful that we get to celebrate with all our family.  The fact that not everyone gets to do this isn't lost on me so I certainly savor every moment we have.  Merry Merry!

Our Twins are Eighteen Months!

Last week Henry and William turned 18 months old and we officially closer to two than one.  This is just....crazytown.  Although obviously I know the age of my children, it almost always blows me away when I stop and think about how old they are.  I suppose I'll always be wondering where he time goes, but anyone with multiples knows that time moves at an even faster speed when there are several young children to juggle at once.  It's just all so fast.  Some days crawl by and others go by in a blink.  As a mom of three toddlers I work so very hard to enjoy the days with my babies.  And let's be real, not every moment is enjoyable.  The moments filled with meltdowns and crying and arguing and clingy babies clawing at my legs are pretty much the opposite of enjoyable.  But! One thing I have gotten very good at is learning to compartmentalize the crappy moments, take some deep breaths, and just power through it.  The amount of sheer joy these two bring into my life makes all of the challenges of raising three kids three and under simply fleeting moments.  They truly are my precious angels.

For posterity sake, here are some fun little details about the boys right now.

Personality: Both boys are loving, sensitive, curious and 100% obsessed with their mama.  Henry loves anything having to do with water and will literally dunk his whole upper body under water in the bath.  I'm pretty sure he would spend all day in there if he could.  William on the other hand abhors the bath and we get him in and out in under a minute.  Both love to be held but the second their feet hit the ground they are unstoppable.

Interests:  Both boys are smitten with Daniel Tiger and Curious George.  William loves to read books and is known to crawl into my lap waving a book around wildly saying "boo boo" asking me to read to him.  And while Henry loves a good book as well, he can be found quietly building towers with blocks or anything he can stack.  Both love building blocks, puzzles, and basically anything on wheels they can ram into a wall.

Routine: I've kept the twins on the same schedule since day one so their routine is pretty much identical.  Here's a quick rundown of their day...

6:15-7:00am: Get each boy up, pile on the couch with milk, a banana and an episode of Daniel Tiger.

7:00-9:00am The boys play while I attend to all of the morning chores and getting everyone ready for the day.  They'll all eat breakfast during this time (or throw it all over the floor) and I try not to go crazy getting everyone safely piled into the car without being late.

9:00-12:00pm  Mornings vary depending on whether or not Reese has school that day.  If she does I usually will run and errand or two with the boys and then take them to a music class at the library or open gym.  We pick Reese up and head home for lunch.  If it is a day that I go into work than we are more likely to stick close to home, but it all depends on how everyone's doing.

12:30/1:00-2:30/3:00pm  NAPS.  All three kiddos take a nap at this time, and let me tell you, mastering a joint nap every day is something I'm quite proud of.  It took a lot of work and it is a lifesaver.  Once everyone is up they'll have a snack, play and get another show or two.  We might also sneak in an errand or trip to the park if the weather is decent.

5:00  Dinner

5:30-7:00 I clean up dinner, the boys play, welcome dad home, and we often race through clean up, bath time, stories, and finally bed.  This is by far the most chaotic time of the day, but it can also be the most fun as it is the only time we're all together.

7:00 BEDTIME!  The boys crash and for the most part sleep through the night (William likes to pull some overnight antics but overall I can't complain).

Being their mama is my pride and joy and I'm so enjoying seeing the little boys they are becoming!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Five on Friday

After reading (and looking forward to) Five on Friday posts for quite I thought I'd jump on the proverbial band wagon and link up.


A few weeks ago I re-joined my old gym and began attending a few classes a week.   I attend one or two 8pm weekday classes (I run out the door after the last kiddo is tucked in) and one each on Saturday and Sunday mornings.   I've resurrected my love of spin (the last class I took I spent most of it running to the bathroom to throw up as I was 8 weeks pregnant with the and boot camp and added a new favorite into the mix...Zumba!  I'm sure I look ridiculous but I have a lot of fun and burn almost the same amount of calories as the other classes, so it's staying in my rotation.  I get an hour to myself that is fun and a win win.

Image result for zumba meme


Speaking of gym, one of our local park districts has begun their preschool open gym and we are all over it.  Twice a week they open up the gymnasium and for $2 per child they have free reign of all kinds of toys.  And the best part for me is it is enclosed...they can only go so far!  We'll be taking advantage of this all winter long.


Lately Reese has been asking me to take pictures of the places I go when I'm not with her.  When I leave for work "mommy you take a picture there for me and show it to me when you get home?"  Same goes for the gym, grocery name it she wants photographic evidence.  And for some reason I think this is the cutest thing ever.  Only for her would I take a selfie in the bathroom at work :)


We have been getting festive up in here and having a lot of fun doing it.  We've hit up the Festival of Lights, and done a bit of baking and decorating (but not too much because...toddlers).  The jury is still out on whether or not we're going to make a visit to see Santa.  Our last few visits have ended in tears and Reese is adamant that she doesn't want to sit on his lap.  So I'm not really feeling like it's worth it, or fun for anyone, to force it.  But the crying picture we'd get would be so epic...


It is officially winter in these parts so I'm on the hunt for activities to take the kids to that are indoor, relatively inexpensive, and make all three kiddos happy.  One of our local library branches re-vamped their kids section and it is fabulous.  We checked it out today and will be frequenting it all winter long.

We have an usually full and fun weekend planned...cheers!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas at Krohn

For the past couple of years I have taken the children to the Christmas display at Krohn Conservatory and this year did not disappoint!  If you are local they have really amazing train displays, a beautiful Christmas tree and a "real life" nativity scene with real donkeys and goats.  Last year the twins were only 5 months old and hung out in their infant seats, but this year they got in on the action and "ohhhed and awed" at all the displays.  Although it just gets trickier and trickier juggling three toddlers, it is SO fun taking them on outings where they can all enjoy it.

Monday, December 5, 2016

One on One Time

It's not hard to imagine that with three children 3 and under it is close to impossible to find quality alone time with each child.  So much of the day and my time is spent simply meeting the feeding/cleaning/juggling demands of the kids that before I know it we're doing the mad dash through dinner and bed time and I worry if I gave each child enough attention.  Now that Reese is in preschool a couple of days a week I have some alone time with twins.  I wish I could break that time down even more into solo time with each boy but for now I have to steal moments where I can.  Last week I really tried to make and concerted effort to single out each one of the kids and do something fun with them.  One morning after dropping Reese at school the boys and I made our way to the zoo.  We try to make it the zoo a few times a month (we get every penny's worth of our pass!) but I rarely go with just the boys and we had a great time! 


Now that the twins have dropped their morning nap my one on one time with Reese has really become hard to find. With two wild 17 month olds who are ALL over the place and can't be left unsupervised, it feels nearly impossible to focus my attention solely on Reese for fun time.  But the other day the boys were playing  independently (quiet! happy! gasp!)  so my best girl and I broke out paint and created a few masterpieces.  As I watch Reese transition from the toddler years into the little kid phase, I want to soak up all her sweetness as much as possible.  I made a promise to myself to try harder to carve out this sort of time with her for at least 20 minutes a day (try being the key word here).  Our little 30 minute paint session won't be something I'll soon forget.
Feeling stressed trying to divide your attention?  Here are my tips for carving out solo time when you have more than one child.
  • BE FLEXIBLE.  I have found, in my short few years as a parent, that things rarely go as planned.  If I have a fun activity planned you can bet the house that something will go awry and I'll be bummed that I never got to it, further spiraling me into my end of the day mom guilt.  A couple of kids are playing happily?  Grab the kid who you feel the least connected to recently and do something special together right then and there.
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE.  Quality time doesn't have to be an outing or even something that costs money.  Reading a book together, drawing, or building blocks together for 10 minutes here and there adds up BIG time throughout the day and can make a huge difference in your relationship with your child as well as your feelings of efficacy as a parent.
  • SCHEDULE AN OUTING TO LOOK FORWARD TO. This really only works with kids who are a bit older but planning something for a few days away can really add some excitement to an otherwise mundane task.  "Want to take a special trip to Target this weekend, just the two of us?!"  May not be as cool or exciting as the Children's Museum or Zoo, but if you get creative you can make just about any errand special one on one time!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gobble Gobble 2016

So Thanksgiving...I mean what is not to love?  A day spent with family eating amazing food without the pressure or hype of gift giving is just about perfect to me.  My kids ( and me...cough cough) ate our weight in turkey, stuffing, pie, and just about everything else.  My only regret is not saving a old pair of maternity pants for the occasion.

This year we celebrated our second Thanksgiving as a family of five this week and had the most special time with family.  The morning was slow and lazy and after kiddo naps we packed up and were off for the day.  We are quite lucky in that both of our families live in tow and only five minutes from one another.  We are even luckier in the fact that everyone gets along and enjoys spending the holiday together.  Depending on what out of town family/significant others etc. are joining we either split the day between both families or one side will host everyone.  This year my parents hosted the whole gang and every detail was memorable.  Unfortunately I was too busy drinking wine and chasing my toddler tornados to document the day but I did squeeze in a few pictures...


Maybe one day I will actually be a grown up and cook for Thanksgiving, but this year my contribution was a cheese dip and sourdough bread....and three cute kids. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Halloween 2016

Despite Halloween falling on a Monday we had the BEST time trick or treating with friends and family.  Although we took Reese trick or treating last year, this year she dove into it 100% and it was such fun to watch her and her neighborhood buddies dominate door to door.  Another fun addition this year was Henry and William!  Last year they were just four months old and after a long and fussy day, we kept them home with my parents while we took the big kid around the block.  The poor buddies didn't even get to wear their costumes.  But fear not, they made up for it this year by being stuffed into last year's unworn costumes (astonishingly they still fit) and carted around in their wagon, buckets in hand.  This Halloween was a bit bittersweet as it is very likely our last Halloween in this house.  We have come to love so many of our neighbors and consider them some of our closest friends.  Now, on the good stuff.  A few months ago Reese declared herself a firefighter and from that moment on she would entertain no other costume ideas.  Done and done.  W & H squeezed into last year's tiger costumes making them the two cutest tigers in all the land.