Friday, October 19, 2007

Dakotta's Doodle Pad

Dakotta is obsessed with her Magna Doodle. Actually we have 4 different ones and she spends hours a day coloring on any one of them. She even insists on taking one to bed with her each night.

Here is a picture of her a few weeks ago drawing the sun.

The big girls built a train from used boxes that day,
but you can see that Dakotta was engrossed in her doodle pad
while everyone else was having fun playing train.

This is a picture she drew today.
She threw a tantrum when I took it away
so that I could take a picture before she erased it.
She says the ball on the right is a "kitty ball".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blackmail Material

I went to throw away Corinna's diaper and when I came back this is what I found. If you look closely you will notice her reading material of choice is a "My Twinn" catalog. I guess someone should warn Dakotta that she may be replaced. And for those of you keeping score, they still haven't actually peed in the toilet.
But they sure do enjoy the ritual.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Playing in the Dirt

So for several months we've had a giant sink hole in our front yard. Apparently this was where the builders buried all the trash when they built the house 20 years ago. Matthew has spent many hours digging this garbage out and had gotten as far as he could. So Saturday he rented a Bob Cat to fix the sink hole and to do some leveling of our back yard. His exciting find of the day was a rusty old water heater. Anyway, my job on this beautiful autumn day was too keep 5 children entertained and out of the way of any large machinery.

We started the morning off by making muffins
Corinna licking the cup.

Dakotta sneaking a taste

I tried to keep them on the deck playing so they could watch what was going on and be out of harms way.

I went to get a picture of Elliott and all the girls jumped in the shot.

Watching the work.
Elliott in his exersaucer Kendall came up with the idea to make a scarecrow.

Corinna checking out the dirt
Our friend Roman is coming back tomorrow to finish the leveling and to plant the seed. Unfortunately since we're in a drought we just have to cross our fingers for some rain because we aren't allowed to water. Of course someone should tell that to my neighbor who was busy watering the street last night at 9:00. I'm trying to convince Matthew that if we can syphon out our tub water the grass should be fine. Maybe tomorrow I'll let my kids paint themselves with chalk and we'll do a little rain dance. (And then take a bath).

Pictures from the Play

Unfortunately the pictures from the play didn't turn out great. I'm sure a better photographer would now how to get a good picture of the shortest kid in the play who is in a glow in the dark costume while in a crowd of other cameras.

Rebecca with her biggest Fan.
Kendall sand along with all the songs because she had
been practicing them with Rebecca.

After the play we took them to Brusters.
Rebecca ordered the banana split which is much bigger
than the picture would lead you to believe.

After I let them sleep downstairs and
this is what I found the next morning.
My own little Ying/Yang

Bravo! Bravo!

Last Night we went to see Rebecca in Tide Pool Condos at the Elementary School. Kendall had seen it during the school day and said she did "Excellent!" We had a sitter to watch the 3 little ones so that I didn't have to wrestle anyone while watching the play. It was a cute play and everyone did a good job, especially Rebecca. But of course I'm one of those has-been, stage moms. I have to admit that I'm such a sap, I actually get teary eyed watching my kids perform. But she was the best Bioluminescent Guy, I've ever seen. I'll try to post pictures soon.

The show was a little bitter sweet because I loved seeing Rebecca showing off her talents but on the other hand it makes me sad because it reminds me of a part of my life I've put on hold for the last 8 years. I was excited to get to help with one of the rehearsals. I would have loved to do more and 3 kids ago I was the type of mom that was always at the school. Unfortunately until we figure out how to install another bathroom for an Au Pair, or until the kids are older I just can't do as much extracurricular stuff as I would like. It was kind of weird the one day I showed up because I expected just to keep kids on task. But I ended up in a group that was learning a dance. The lady responsible for teaching the dance did not have a dance background and had just been taught it herself a few minutes before. At first she just wanted me to be in charge of the music. But when she found out I had dance experience I ended up getting to help teach the girls. I can't tell you how much fun I had.

Yesterday was also an exciting day for Kendall. Her class has a Green, Yellow, Red card system for behavior. Well, Kendall was born with a disability. She was born without a volume control. Add that to the fact that she's very social and it doesn't make for many "Green Days." Well at the first week of school when I had already gotten a phone call from her teacher and we had just gotten done discussing our expectations she asked me when I was coming to have lunch. I was so fluster I spouted, "When you can get 5 Green Days in a row." So this has been her goal for the school year. And up until last week she's never gotten past 3 in a row. But she finally did it and it only took her 9 weeks of school. So Monday Kendall gets to have lunch with Mommy and her younger siblings.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tickle Me Elliott

That's Kendall narrating, she can't stand to have a camera pointed at someone other than her.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Can you say determined?

My children are very goal oriented. Apparently the twins goal for yesterday was to get a shower or a bath. First thing in the morning I got them changed and fed. I had left Matthew and Elliott asleep in my room and a little while later Matthew brought Elliott down and he headed back upstairs to take a shower. While I was taking care of Elliott, Corinna and Dakotta must have heard the water running because when I walked backed into the living room they were both completely naked. I had already changed them for the morning so their diapers were not longer duct taped on (if you have to ask see side note below). I asked them what they were doing they both told me they were going to take a shower. I decided since they were already naked it was a good time to put them on the toilet.

This little toilet ritual of ours is something I do in hopes that one day they are going to actually pee in the toilet (3 kids in diapers is not cheap). It involves first a fight over who is going to go first and who is going to put the cushy toddler seat on top of the regular seat. Then while I try to encourage one to "tinkle," complete with all manner of embarrassing songs and sound effects, the other will play with toilet paper. Then another fight ensues about who is going to wipe the "tinkler's" bum. Then we repeat. Then another fight about who is going flush the toilet. And then we wash hands. Time spent in bathroom:30 minutes. Toilet paper used: 1/2 roll. Fights broken up: 4. Pee in the Toilet: None.

So then I thought maybe I'd just let them run around naked for a bit. People keep telling me the bare bottom technique is the way to go with potty training. But apparently they took that as a sign that they were getting a bath. So as soon as they were allowed upstairs they headed straight to their bath tub. I finally got them out of their bathroom and shut the doors and they ran straight o my tub and decided to play in there. Since I needed to do some laundry, I let them play in the tub while I changed loads. When I came back I found ice skating in toothpaste they had squeezed into the tub. When I turned on the water to rinse out the tub and they started to get excited about taking a bath. But I'm a mean mommy and cleaned off their feet and got them out. Then I got them dressed and off to play.

A little later in the day the kids found some chalk outside and were coloring on the walk way in the back yard. All 4 girls were being so good playing so nicely together and I was watching from the deck. My view was somewhat obstructed by their play house. Then I noticed a pair of blue legs and realized they belonged to my 5 year old. Apparently the chalk had been left out in the rain and was the consistency of make up. So my angels come up to me looking like little Aborigines. Who knew wet chalk made such good War paint? And of course what's the first thing out of their mouths when they get to me. "I wanna take a bath" Well I was trying to head out to dinner for the night and by now I'm just as determined that they aren't going to be rewarded with a bath for being such trouble makers. So I cleaned them in the sink. Yes I know it would have been easier but I'm stood my ground on principle.

I am however, all about starting the day on a clean slate (literally) so first thing after breakfast this morning I gave them their bath.

My Little Aborigines

Corinna washing up


My lovely walkway

Side Note: TMI Warning: If you have a weak stomach skip this little side note: THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE. My little darlings have the most disgusting habit. When they are left unattended for any length of time they will removed their diapers. Now that's rather annoying in itself. However, they aren't content just to enjoy the freedom of a bare butt. No, they must then use the contents of their diapers as art material. When they first discovered this hobby I outsmarted them by putting their diapers on backwards, so that they couldn't reach the tabs. They quickly figured out how to get to the tabs anyway. Luckily for us the weather turned cooler and we realized that they couldn't figure out the tabs that went over the zippers of their footy pajamas. So we had a brief reprieve until they figured those out as well. So finally, we've had to resort to duct taping their diapers on to them. I only do this at nap and bed times because that's when they are mostly likely to engage in this unsavory art form and, well if you've ever tried to duct tape a diaper on very active toddler while trying not to get the duct tape on their sensitive skin you know it's no picnic. Now before anyone thinks of call DFS or Dr. Phil, I got the duct tape recommendation from my Pediatrician.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME

The weird thing about being 6 weeks younger than my spouse is that when he has his Birthday in August I start thinking I'm a year older and then by the time it's my Birthday I think I'm a year older than I really am. I thought this was some weird little quirk of mine until I was talking to my sister and she admitted to doing the same thing.

So Matthew took the day off for my Birthday and asked his parents to watch Corinna and Dakotta so that we could head to Atlanta. I've been itching to get to the IKEA for sometime, but not so much that I was willing to do it by myself with little ones in tow. Once we got there Matthew needed to make a Pit stop, so I was walking around the lobby trying to figure out my game plan. I went to grab a catalog, since I had left mine at home, but there was a small group of people in my way. They appeared to be planning something and I wasn't sure if they were employees or not. Trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, in case they were sales people, I quickly went for the catalog when a gentleman who looks like someone I think I should know looks at me and nods. About the time I see all the camera equipment I realize that it's Vern Yip, a designer from Trading Spaces and other TV shows.

IKEA was a little overwhelming and I don't think Matthew realized what he was getting into. I've been looking for the perfect scrapbooking table since Mother's Day and of course the one from the catalog that I really wanted to see was out of stock. But I got some good ideas and we did get some fun things for the kids rooms. Not exactly what I had in mind for my Birthday present but if it helps keep their junk off the floor I'll be happy.

After we were done at IKEA we decided to head to our favorite Thai restaurant. Unfortunately, since neither Matthew or I spend much time in Atlanta these days, instead of the the wonderful little restaurant we love we were greeted with a giant mound of dirt in the the middle of down town Atlanta. We drove up 14th street and were lucky enough to find Tamrind Seed. The new place was so fancy and I felt a little under dressed in jeans but the food was as good as I remembered it. And the best part is that there were plenty of leftovers.

As the staff oohed and aaahed over Elliott, I was reminded of the first time I ate at the old restaurant. I was a new mom and one of the hostess was quite taken by Rebecca, who was about 9 months old at ther time. Rebecca was restless and had been trying to get out of the high chair. She reached out to the hostess who picked her up and before I knew it the lady was taking my baby to see the other waiters. I was a little taken aback by it and Matthew and I whispered things between us and decided she was safe. Then she totally startled me by taking my baby to the kitchen and out of my site. That's when I gave my dear husband that Mother Bear look. He quickly hopped up and headed to the kitchen. I think the hostess must have realized her faux pas about the same time because she came out and returned her to my arms. Rebecca of course was as happy as could be. These days I may have made a run for it while she was in the kitchen. Well not really, or maybe, just long enough to pee in silence.

Now to top off my great day I'm going to go enjoy some Triple chunk Brownies. TTFN

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

When It Rains It Pours

This afternoon I had gotten Rebecca started on her homework, Elliott sleeping, and Kendall and the twins were playing in the living room. I have gates into the dining room, the kitchen, and at the top of the stairs and I had the outside doors dead bolted. I thought it was a good time to take a quick break and to read a few emails and check in on a message board I visit. I was wrong. As I'm at my computer in the basement I begin to hear water running. It sounded like it was coming from the bathroom and I didn't think much of it. A few minutes later I hear a dripping sound. I followed the sound which is about 2 feet to my left and look up and realize there's a water spot starting on my ceiling tile. I ran upstairs to see the gate open and Corinna at the back of the sink with water pouring out of it. I turn the water off and start mopping up the mess when I see Dakotta eating Rice Crispies off the floor with the empty box next to her. The funny thing was that when I asked who left the gate open both Rebecca and Kendall took responsibility. So they both got the pleasure of cleaning it up.

This is the problem with all these childproofing gadgets we have around the house. We are constantly in a state of thinking of ways to childproof better with as little inconvenience to the rest of us that live here. For example the doorknob covers are a blessing for me most of the time, until Kendall needs to make a mad dash to the bathroom. I've observed that there is a direct correlation to how badly one has the urge to pee and how difficult it is to open a door with a childproof doorknob cover. I've even experienced it first hand myself. This phenomenon usually leads to me cleaning a bathroom floor while consoling a humiliated 5 year old. Now the caveat to this theory is that if you are accustomed to peeing in your pants, or let's say a diaper, you then begin to possess super toddler abilities that allow you to outsmart the device and remove the doorknob cover all together. This is the only explanation I have for finding 2 toddlers in the hall and the doorknob cover in pieces in their room yesterday morning.

I'm wondering how much those professional childproofers charge per hour? Maybe I could hire out my twins to new parents. I'm sure in less time than any expert my kids can show them what things are going to be a problem when there's a toddler around. Sounds like a great way to support their cereal purging hobby.