Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man Work

Husband here...

Just wanted to share that today I did something with my father in law (or as you all know him, Bumpa) that I never thought I'd do with any man. Or with a woman or even by myself, now that I think about it that way.

I rebuilt a carburetor!

I always thought that was just something they did on old TV shows, but once we got some expert advice from a friend of his, it was actually pretty straightforward. A couple of screws, some awesome spray solvents, and some poking at clogged up holes, and I had a working snowblower again.

It was actually a fun little project. Had I been born a generation or two earlier, I could totally imagine myself as one of those greasers on Happy Days.

Anyhow, thanks Bumpa!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eat This!

I'm not sure why we feel like better parents when our kids eat well. Maybe in our case it is Penny's failure to thrive or finding foods that are clean enough and yet tempting to a boy in a spica cast.

Ned and Penny often refuse to eat at all and Penny hasn't had a vegetable in about 1.5 years (I wish I was kidding). When Ned is upset he flips his plate over and pushes over his beverage. The crumbs, the mess, the hand washing and brushing teeth afterward. It is all a pain in the ass.

Josephine is a sharp contrast. We love to sit down at the table with her. Starting around 5 months we served her purees that she hated and tried to chew. After about 4 weeks (maybe less?) I gave up and just started feeding her real food. I made some myself (pears, apples, sweet potatoes) but she'll eat anything so now I just feed her what we feed the twins, with some supplementing or modification.

Table food this time is so much easier. And since she is at the table anyway with Ned and Penny she gets some. And she eats it all. It is a pleasure and a joy to watch her feed herself any item we put in front of her - broccoli, avocado, mac & cheese, pancakes most mornings (but sometimes breakfast bars), soup, rice and turkey, chicken, peas, green beans, the list goes on. And it is a list that Ned and Penny never eat from.

Josephine is now 8 months old. She says a "b" sound that is adorable, opening her mouth wide to say it. She loves to sleep with her lovie over her face. JoJo holds up her arms to be picked up and never wants to be left alone. Although she doesn't laugh very often or roll, she sits up very well and loves to spend time with her brother and sister.

It's so nice to have one kid who appreciates my culinary efforts. And nothing makes her happier than my pancakes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Post-Spica Update

Husband here...

Since Wife is falling down on the blogging job, I thought I'd give everyone a quick update on Ned's progress since getting the cast off.

The first couple of days, he pretty much refused to move his legs. Pretty much par for the course, from what we've read. But a little upsetting nonetheless.

By the first weekend (3-4 days after getting the cast off), he was sitting up well.

After a week (so now we're up to the middle of last week), he started crawling on his own, and he would let me stand him up on his feet, as long as I kept my arms around him.

Shortly thereafter, he started pulling up on walls and furniture, and he crawled upstairs under his own power. With us right behind him, naturally. Don't want ANOTHER broken femur.

By this past weekend (1.5 weeks post-cast), he was crawling fast, standing for long periods with some support (e.g., at the train table), and climbing out of a pack-n-play. He even took a couple of unsupported steps to go between pieces of furniture.

Today he started doing a strange crawl on his hands and feet. Bent double at the waist, butt up high in the air. Wife noted that he looked a lot like Gollum. (Bad Mommy!)

In a weird way, so far it's been like a fast-forward replay of the gross-motor progression from about 6 months - 14 months, at a rate of about 1.5 days : 1 month. Little doubt in my mind that he'll be walking on his own by next weekend.

I'm very happy with his progress.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Day Zen

Only two and a half weeks left before I go back to work and I finally found my groove. I've found patience I was afraid was gone - doling out timeouts without stress and not overly worrying about the kids and their development.

I am surprisingly calm when Husband's travel plans change a million times - yes, going to France on Thursday, no, make that to Spain on Friday, wait, Delaware on Monday, Europe is canceled. It's always last minute but instead of stressing about what it is doing for my schedule I just figure I can handle it or can ask Nanny April to stay late. I used to run around as soon as he announced his travel schedule working out whether my mom could come or if I could rush home from work. Now I figure we'll just have to pay April to stay and Husband can make arrangements since it is his travel schedule. I did my first solo bedtime in months on Monday and it was fine - and soon that will be Husband's lot when I am back at work.

I like to clean up the kids' mess so it feels like we have some adult space but I don't care that I manage to get the dining room and kid dishes done and playroom picked up while Husband fusses with the mail/bills. If he cooks dinner I am happy to clean up. I plan some meals for us and do the grocery shopping and I find I don't hate grocery shopping anymore. I didn't nag him about shoveling and he laughed when I told him I considered my nap on the Snow Day an accomplishment (it was!).

Nanny April's constant chattering and repetitive storytelling aren't as annoying as they were a few weeks ago. She does so much for the kids and I really appreciate it. And she's put up with me being home for 7 months.

During the Snow Day, I let Penny drag every book out of the playroom into the family room. And then made her (calmly) put them back. Not sure why she left the Obama book (gift from Nanny April).

I don't plan for activities (apart from 2 weekly classes we are signed up for). If I don't need to be anywhere or doing anything I can just let the constant organization and scheduling go. I'm going to try hard to do that on weekends when I am back at work.

When the kids hated being out in the snow on our Snow Day,

I just brought the snow indoors.

Even Josephine joined in.

So what if I let my kids wear PJs outdoors (why get something else wet/dirty) and Penny's hair looked like a mess all day. They ate a great lunch, brushed their teeth and napped. In fact before a nap they gave me a nice present:

Twenty minutes of no fighting or crying or fussing. Twenty minutes in which I could pick up lunch and plan naptime attack.

I know it is the best for my family and me that I return to work and that the next Snow Day will be a disaster with both Husband and me trying to work while taking care of 3 kids. But on this Snow Day the kids and I had a lovely day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Cast is Past

Ned's spica cast was removed last Wednesday and it was every bit as painful as I had feared. There was lots of screaming during the sawing and when the x-ray was taken.

He was calmed down by watching Thomas on a DVD Player.

He is not walking or even really moving around yet but I'm sure that will come with time. Now we are starting to get back into the groove of our lives again. All three kids are now eating their meals in the dining room instead of in the playroom or family room. We can bath all three of them (but Josephine isn't quite ready sitting-wise to join both Ned and Penny).

Five days after removal he is willing to scootch on his bottom, can stand while being held for short periods of time. We got him into his highchair and he took a bath with his twin sister. Ned won'[t bend his right knee (the leg that was broken) but he has decent movement on his left leg. He always says "I'm fine" when we move him - a nice change from "Too big" which he would say when we'd suggest doing activities while he was in the spica cast (possibly stemming from when I said he couldn't go to the airport with me since his cast was too big to fit into a 5 point harness carseat).

I had been working hard to try to discipline Ned but frankly it was tough to carry him up the stairs all the time for his time outs. He has responded by being a orange-legged Napoleon - yelling at his sister, demanding and whining about everything.

It's time to get back my energetic boy. And to hopefully get him back in the timeout groove (he used to respond beautifully to it). I hope to take him swimming on Tuesday and if we are lucky maybe he can be walking by Wednesday.