Parker has been doing doubles this evening. As in "Double five is ten. Double ten is twenty, etc."
He just ran in to inform me, "Hey, double two and double four is double six."
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Parker has been doing doubles this evening. As in "Double five is ten. Double ten is twenty, etc."
Friday, January 30, 2009
For the last few days, I've had Parker nap upstairs because he was coughing and I was pretty sure he would keep up or wake up one of the girls with the coughs.
Today, Elizabeth asked to sleep upstairs. Since we are still working on Miranda not waking up screaming after 40 minutes of napping, I thought this was great. Since Parker and I had already negotiated an earlier bedtime in exchange for not napping, I could do some crying it out with Miranda in the room alone. I wasn't sure how either of the girls were going to like sleeping apart (since they have never done it) for naps, but it worked out fine.
After books, I took Eli upstairs and tucked her in. I told her I would be back to sing songs. Then I went downstairs and sang songs to Miranda. 10 minutes later, after looking at some of Parker's drawings* I went back upstairs ready to do the same with Eli, but she was already fast asleep, bless her little heart. Reminded me of a story my mom has told me about her putting the three of us to bed way back when. I was Eli in he version and I fell asleep waiting for her to come back to read to me. I still had the book in my arms when she got there.
*Parker's drawings: In the last day or two, Parker has figured out how to draw pictures. Not pictures of numbers, or marble games or letters, but honest to god, pictures. He is doing them on his "wipe it clean" (magnetic type writing pad that can be erased over and over). The pictures are quite good. Sure, they are stick men and women, but they are doing all sorts of crazy things like eating cereal, going up stairs, taking a nap, drawing, and hanging out with Ted and Lion. It's really nice to see this change and I look forward to seeing more of his work.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I took the kids to the California Academy in SF on Sunday while Daddy was running 15 miles (!). I got there early for members only hours, but you'd never know that was the case as it was packed. We had to stand in a long line and then navigate through big crowds. The penguins were a big hit again as was the aquarium, but we had the best and most relaxing time in the kiddie area. I think I'll only go back with another adult.
Michael wanted to take some cookies for a co-worker so the kids and I made them. I let Parker crack the eggs this time and he did an amazing job. He did it like a chef with just one hand. Crazy.
The entire time they kept asking when they could lick the bowl. So I gave Miranda the mixing attachment and she sat there for a good long time trying to get every piece of dough off of it. She willingly shared with her brother and sister.
Then when all the cookies were made, they each grabbed a spoon and dug in to the bowl.
The result? Disgusting little cookie dough faces.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a mom of a classmates of Parker's and she mentioned the playschool her almost 3 year old was going to. Her son went there too and she is going to put her baby there too when he is old enough. It's a 3 hour a day twice a week place at a woman's home. There are 6 kids total, an outside play area, an inside play area and a circle time area. They also go on walks every day for about 20 minutes. And she provides snack and lunch.
So, on a whim, I called the lady to find out more and to see if she had space. Amazingly she did. So I talked about it with Michael, my friends, my twin club and after much discussion and guilt, started them this week. Michael and I have been both struggling to find down time. If I take it, he gets three kids. If he takes it, I get more of what I get all week a long. I have found myself being more annoyed lately and have been yelling a lot more. I'm not a yeller, so the fact that I am now, has been tough. So, I thought this small break would help me out and allow me to do more on weekends thus helpng Michael out. By the time I drop everyone off and start the pick up, I only get two hours, but that is 2 hours alone I would not have had.
On Monday, I had to stay a bit to do paperwork so I had about an hour and a half, which I spent shopping, cleaning the fridge, and stopping for what turned out to be a free peets coffee. Today, I ran around the lake, did some errands, had breakfast and read the newspaper.
The girls, by the way, did great both days. They were so excited about "pre-pre school" after we went for a visit a couple weeks ago. They were just a twitter about the whole thing. Especially Eli. There is already an Elizabeth there, so the teacher decided to call her Eli at school. Barbara, the teacher, (who by the way got their names immediately) said they acted like they had been there for months on their first day. Today, Miranda had a little crying fit during the walk, but got over it quickly.
I'm not sure how long I will keep them there for guilt and financial reasons, but for now it seems like a good situation. (They start preschool in September so no longer than July I imagine.) I still feel pretty guilty about it, but I think it has already helped me do a bit more at home. For example, Michael was going to do our shopping Sunday night, but I did it Monday, which I wouldn't have wanted to do with both of them with me. It's possible, just not pleasant or quick.
I think it will be a nice transition to a bigger more structured place with more kids. I was a bit worried about Miranda freaking out when I left, but she gave me a big hug and kiss and waved bye bye to me. Elizabeth didn't even have a pee or poop accident on either day. I guess I was worried about nothing.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Yesterday, the kids and I went to a twin mom's house for a playdate. She has three kids too, 20 month old B/G twins and a 3 1/2 year old girl. They live on Ashby near College (2 blocks from park and across the street from the library) in what appeared to be the most awesome house I've ever been in. I thought Ebba's house was big and fun, but this place put hers to shame. It was huge. 4 bedrooms upstairs, room after room downstairs including craft room, office, dining room, huge living room, and other little nooks and crannies. Oh, and did I mention the lovely kitchen that looked out onto a deck and the backyard? Each room was filled with all manner of kid stuff from train table to art table to play house to loads and loads of legos, books, strollers, and of course baby dolls. Miranda and Elizabeth were in heaven (as was I.)
Then we went outside where there was a swing set with fort (that she got for free!) and a giant sandbox plus tons of running around space. When it got too cold for that, we marched back inside and up to the attic where they have a giant carpeted playroom. In the playroom? A bouncy house. Seriously. I wanted to kill Sue, the mom, and take over her identity, but I don't think Yana, her partner would have appreciated that. Parker was now in heaven. He especially enjoyed the window from the attic to the bathroom where I took Elizabeth to poop.
After some bouncing, we all came downstairs, said our good byes and went home to our tiny and boring house.
I told her we would be back today, but I'm not sure she believed me. :)
I'm taking Parker to LA in February to hang with the cousins. We are flying this time which will be a first for him. (He actually has flown twice, once with us to Mexico when I was 7 weeks pregnant with the girls,and once with the grandmas when I was 32 weeks pregnant and in the hospital. But since he doesn't remember either time, he thinks it is his first time.) This all came about because at Christmas at school they had to write letters to Santa. On his he said he wanted a 100 marbles, a 1000 legos (or some equivalent that I can't remember) and an airplane ride. He has also brought it up many times since then. So I figured what the heck. A trip with just him will seem like a luxurious vacation for me and Michael can have some girlie time with Eli and Miranda.
Yesterday, Parker asked, "Mommy is it still January?" I said, "Yes, why do you ask?" He just looked kinda sad and said, "Are you sure it isn't February 20th yet?"
I guess he is looking forward to the trip!
Monday, January 26, 2009
About a month ago, Michael talked with a behaviorist about Miranda. She was from Kaiser and we were referred to her from our Pediatrician when she said the sleep issues were not medical. He had to fill out some surveys and then chatted with her on the phone. After a long talk, she recommended we sleep on the floor in the kids room and when they woke up, tell them to go back to sleep without helping them at all. They lost their blanket? Get it yourself. They need help with the covers. Tough, do it yourself. Need some water. Not likely. Go to sleep.
So, Michael, being the trooper that he is, did it. For a little over 2 weeks. And man, what a sacrifice he made to do this. They woke up a lot and there was a lot of crying and screaming and not helping them. Usually it was Miranda, but Eli joined in on occasion. Luckily, unlike me, Michael can actually sleep with them and can go back to sleep when they wake him up. Had I been in there, I would be wide awake all night long listening to their every breath and moan.
So, about a week ago, he moved back to the bed and told them they would be on their own if they woke up. Daddy would not come in the room. No matter what. For a few days, it was touch and go. Some nights were good and some were bad (like the night he slept in the backhouse and I was upstairs and Miranda screamed for an hour about wanting Daddy whilst being on the ground pressed up against the door...needless to say, I was about to cave and go in the room but listened to Michael and got him back in the house to save me.)
For the last few nights, they have done a great job. If they wake up, they go back to sleep. If they scream out, they go back to sleep. If Miranda loses her lovey, Elizabeth helps her find it.
And even today at naps (where Miranda still usually wakes up after about 40-60 minutes), she woke up, sat up, and adjusted her covers and went back to sleep. They have all been sleeping for about 2 hours now.
So, I say to Michael, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Parker seems to be digging his computer. He goes there almost every day for a few minutes. Right now, he likes to make pictures using Paint. He calls them Roads. He does the whole thing now from turning on the computer to opening the Paint program to selecting the appropriate painting tool and color. And then he prints it. He still has trouble when the cursor get to the bottom or top of the screen and doesn't realize he can pick up the mouse and adjust it, but otherwise, he is doing great with the mouse.
His other favorite thing to do is listen to a spanish version of a book from Tumblebooks. It's about baseball and numbers. I can't imagine he understands what is going on, but he sure loves it.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Anyone who knows me knows I am no cook. I just don't have whatever it takes. But, I have been trying very hard to cook a regular meat/fish/chicken and veggie and starch dinner every night since Jan 1. In the past, I wouldn't start in time and fix something easy for the kids and then eat cereal or take out chinese or pizza or tacos. So the fact that I haven't gotten off track yet, is very promising.
Tonight I had salmon. I usually just put it on the grill. But I thought of trying something new tonight so I looked up broiled salmon on google and got a bunch (ok like 120 thousand) recipes. I picked what looked like a very, very easy one. But when I started making the basting sauce, I noticed that it called for 2 pounds of butter. Holy Shit! 2 pounds of butter. That would make anything taste good. I re-read the recipe and was about to start melting 2 sticks of butter when I realized it was for a 20 pound fish. Since our fillets were only 1.4 pounds, I reduced it. A bit. :)
It reminded me of the time I was making pancakes and put 2 cups of sugar in instead of 2 tablespoons. That there was some granular pancakes. Or like the pancakes I made this morning where I used baking soda instead of baking powder. Luckily I realized that error before we cooked them.
Elizabeth continues to be a mean girl. Her latest thing is telling people (her brother and sister) the opposite of what they say. Example?
Parker says "I see a thousand cars over the freeway!" (when we drive on an overpass)
Elizabeth says, "Parker NO see a thousand cars!" And she says it in this sing song way to ensure we are all sufficiently irritated.
Miranda says, "I'm happy!"
Elizabeth says, "No Nana happy. No Parker happy. Just Biza Happy!"
It drives the other two up the wall. Miranda usually starts crying (which is also annoying) and Parker just keeps repeating what he originally said while telling me what Elizabeth side.
We're not sure what to do with all of this. So far, we've been telling Miranda to tell Elizabeth that "she doesn't care" and walk away. I'm sure the "I don't care" will come back to bite us in the ass.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I sing to the girls every night at bedtime, and the rule is that they each get to pick one song, and I get to pick one. (I always pick Walking Cane, and they would probably freak out if I ever picked anything else. But I pick it because it makes for a nice, soothing, lullabye.)
For a long time, Miranda always chose Wheels on the Bus. Elizabeth would move between different songs, depending on her mood, but with Miranda it was Bus, always Bus. Naturally, I'd like to never sing that song again in my life, but one does what one must.
Recently, I introduced the Crawdad Song into the mix, and Elizabeth fell in love with it. So now every night she picks Crawdad song.
Which would be fine, except that for some reason now Miranda has fallen in love with the Crawdad song, and wants that to be her pick. And it's not good enough that she gets to hear it on Elizabeth's turn, she wants to hear it as her pick. So now, every night for the past couple of weeks, I sing Crawdad Song twice at bedtime, followed by Walking Cane.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Everyday, Zeke goes into the kids room when they are napping. I leave the door open a crack so they can exit quietly when they wake up and Zeke takes this as his invitation to go on in and get comfy. He usually picks the end of Parker's bed, but sometimes it's Mirandas. He usually stays away from Elizabeth. One day, Elizabeth woke up after an hour screaming that Zeke was on Miranda's bed. And said, "Get out Zeke! Get out." Perhaps this is why he stays away from her.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The preschool had parent teacher conferences today so there was no school. Michael went to ours yesterday. Based on the feedback, I'm not sure the teachers "get" Parker, but then again, I'm not sure I do either. "He's not really engaged sometimes." No shit, he's doing differential equations in his head.
Anyway, we went to a park this morning. Parker climbed right up on these pillars and then Elizabeth wanted to do the same. Parker helped her which was quite sweet, but then Eli jumped down on her own. Miranda got up the nerve to get up on her own, but when it came time to get down, she held onto Parker's hand and then jumped. Thing was...Parker didn't jump. So Miranda went splat. No picture of that of course.
Not quite. The kids and I drove to Modesto yesterday to pick up our new third row seat for the truck. We got one about 2 months ago, but it didn't have the shoulder belts so we went back to get the right one. It's about an hour and 20 minutes one way. The kids did well in the car and were very happy we stopped at a new fancy Playplace in a small town just outside of Modesto. It was the swankiest McDonalds I had ever seen. The kids ran around like monkeys and playing a new game called "Shmashooeey" where they all go down the slide at once toppling all over each other. And they lo They laugh hysterically each time. Oh and of course they loved the bridge. They kept saying, "Mommy, look we are so High!"
Parker has been telling me what things equal all day today. He was shouting it from the living room like this:
"Mommy....5 + 9 = 14!" and then demanded I give some sort of response. It was all incredibly irritating. So told him to stop shouting numbers at me. So he came into the kitchen and whispered, "Mommy does 13 plus 12 equal 25" Sigh.
Then at one point Elizabeth said, "Parker, Nana time to clean up!" to which Parker replied, "I'm busy doing my math!"
At that point I realized he was playing with his abacus.
After naps it started all again, but more advanced. "Mommy, 96 plus 14 is 110!"
Ah, the age old friendship between a boy and his abacus...
I'm sure Michael and I do many things that are not "correct". Some we are aware of and some we are not. One that we are aware of is that neither of us say "I love you" very much to the kids. We'll say it once and a while, but certainly not daily or as any form of closing like at bedtime or during fake phone conversations. It bugs me a little bit and I've tried to remember to be better at that.
Which is why when Elizabeth went around the house telling her sister and brother and baby dolls that she loved them this morning, I found it all quite odd. I suppose there are books we have read with "I love you" in them and sure, the daddies on the bus say I Love You, but she appeared to really understand the emotion, hugging and kissing the dolls as she expressed her affection.
I guess saying that is better than walking around the house saying Bullshit.
We recently realized that Elizabeth and Miranda do not know the colors yet. If you hold up something that is pink and ask what color it is, the most common answer is blue or brown. You hold up something that is blue, it's orange.
I tried to think about how Parker learned his (in addition to just reading and talking about what color something is which is what we do with the girls). I then remembered that he spent a fair amount of time when he was 2 watching Baby Einstein DVDs about shapes, colors, numbers, music and other things. Now, sure I realize these have recently been shown to do damage to little baby minds, but I thought I would give it a try with the girls. Since I had donated all of our DVDs to the library, I picked up the colors one (Baby Van Gogh) and popped it in after naps one day. Elizabeth was excited about her new TV SHOW, but soon got very confused when there wasn't any words or story or anything. She kept asking for it to start, even when it had been on for 10 minutes. Parker, on the other hand, remembered it and loved it, staring blankly into the screen without blinking (damage?) for long periods of time.
The DVD, which they have now watched about 3 or 4 times, have had no effect on their awareness of colors. I'm hoping they are just color blind.
Monday, January 19, 2009
We went to a birthday party on Sunday for some twin kids. 2 sets were celebrating turning 2 together. It was at a fun little cafe we go to a lot called Tumble and Tea. In addition to their normal fun stuff like play kitchen, train table, and climbing structure, they had a small jumpy house set up too.
I decided to get some use out of these super cute outfits Grammy and Ginny gave the girls for their 2nd birthday. With the skirts, boots, and pony tails, I was really gunning for the cutest twins award. Unfortunately, with about 8 sets of twins there, the competition was stiff.
Michael took Miranda to see the Poop doctor again last week as we hadn't seen any improvement since our last visit over a month ago. I couldn't deal with that woman again and I figured Michael's calm, ridiculously articulate, scientific manner would be just the ticket with her. I was right. Miranda is back to Miralax, but in juice, which she loves. Twice a day. Since we recently stopped having juice in the house (mostly for me and Michael to help us lose weight, but also for the kids), this Poop Medicine juice is a big hit with Miranda. Today, she woke up from naps saying she was sad and needed her medicine.
The other kids are jealous and I think they are on to the fact that it is just Cranraspberry juice without the label. Both of them said, "My butt hurts when I go poop. I think I need Poop medicine today."