Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Green Anaconda

I don't know what it is about this song, but whenever my boys get fussy all we have to do is turn this on our App.le TV and voila! they are captivated and HAPPY. It is so funny! No matter what they are doing at the time whether it be playing with toys, fussing about something or in another room they stop whatever they are doing and look at the TV when this song starts playing.

All of my boys are doing really good, other than a little fussiness here and there. Logan is loving kindergarten and comes home from school and immediately starts his homework (yes, he has math homework almost every day!). He loves school and his friends, but his teacher...not so much. In my opinion, she is a nice enough gal, but she is a bit like a drill sergeant with the kids. I have talked to her a couple of times and it has been hinted to me that she has a difficult class. While it is hard to know that Logan isn't particularly fond of his kindergarten teacher, I understand the balance she needs to maintain trying to keep order in her classroom. I am thankful that there is an assistant in his classroom that Logan LOVES and he seems to enjoy going to school overall. I think his biggest problem with his teacher is that she has a lot of rules and that the whole class gets held back from doing things because she is trying to wrangle in the kids who aren't so "orderly" (for lack of a better word). I am just thankful that Logan is well-behaved at school and that he hasn't gotten into any trouble. Although I am sure that day will come as he gets older :)

Caden is as sweet as ever. He is so calm and content and just has such a sweet little personality. He will sit and stare at me with a slight smile on his face and it is so cute. He loves to follow me around with his eyes and keep tabs on me. I have caught him many times just sitting somewhere laughing at pretty much nothing. This weekend we visited some friends and he was sitting in their bathroom by himself (I was in the adjoining bedroom and he had crawled into the bathroom) laughing hysterically. He didn't have any toys or wasn't looking at anything in particular, unless you call the bathroom cabinet something interesting), but yet he was belly laughing. He is crawling around, but is most content just hanging out and being his laid back self. Caden is also so flexible, as in he can do all out splits and can sit with his legs outspread and put his nose to the ground. It is quite the sight to see!

Colton is still a bit more vocal and likes to tell us when he is upset, as well as when he is happy. He has a smile that lights up the world and loves to laugh, especially at Caden and Logan. He loves his brothers faces! He also loves to crawl over to Caden, push him over and take his toys. In all sincerity I don't really believe that he is aggressive, I believe that he is just playful and doesn't know how to be more gentle. Thankfully Caden thinks this is funny and laughs hysterically and pretty soon they are both laughing together. Colton is crawling all over the place and we had to put up gates to keep him a little more contained. He is also trying to pull himself up and can take a few steps with assistance. This is the little boy I will be chasing after next summer.

I am loving how all three of my boys are interacting more and more. Logan is such a good big brother and he loves his little brothers. He is gentle with them and loves to hug and kiss them. He often, out of the blue, says, "Mom, I love my brothers". I tell him that Caden and Colton love him too and that when they get older and can talk that they will be able to tell him how much they love him. It is so cute to see the softer side of my little Logan. He is such a neat kid and as he grows I am continuing to learn more about him and how to see the world through his almost six year old eyes.

Now, a list of other things to come:

---We are planning a possible vacation to Mex.ico this winter with some dear friends. We will be bringing the kids with us so it should be quite the adventure and tons of fun. We are hoping to go somewhere in the Pla.ya del Ma.ya area and stay at an all-inclusive resort. If you have any suggestions on where to stay, let me know!

----The zoo will be visiting us this Halloween! I will have my own gorilla, giraffe and tiger and DH and will be the Zookeepers. Logan has a Halloween party and parade at school, we have trick-or-treating in my neighborhood on Saturday and my sister's Halloween party and Sunday we will be heading to my sisters neighborhood to do some more trick-or-treating. Should be a fun, candy-filled weekend.

---- I am planning Logan's 6th birthday party to be at a nearby pizza place. He and his friends will be making their own pizzas and we will be having cupcakes and games while we wait for our pizzas to bake. This is the first friend party he will have and he can't wait!

----I am starting to prepare my Christmas lists and get an idea of what to buy everyone for Christmas. I have some ideas for Logan, but am having a hard time finding things for the Little Monkeys. Does anyone have any suggestions for two almost one year olds?

----DH and I are starting to plan a two day getaway in January. My parents will be coming to take care of the kids while we get out of town and enjoy some couple time. We have never been away from Logan (or Caden and Colton) for more than one night so this is a big deal for us. We are looking forward to some time away and are thankful that we can get away for a couple of days to relax, reconnect and rejuvenate.

That's about it for now! I hope you all are doing well and I am continuing to read all of your blogs. I check them everyday, but usually have someone on my lap so commenting is not always an option.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tips for Moms

Having a baby(ies) for the first time or the third time is a huge adjustment. There are lots of things to research and do before having baby and so much more to do after they are born. To make it a little easier I have thought of a few things that were recommended to DH and I or things that we have done to make the adjustment a little bit easier and now I am sharing them with you. You might find some of these things helpful or not, but either way you will find what works best, or not, for your family.

Buy in Bulk- Before all of my babies were born I stocked up on everything. From toilet paper, to toothpaste to diapers and detergent to already cooked meals (either ones I had made and froze or from Let'.s One thing that is hard to do when you are so tired from those sleepless nights and possibly recovering from a c-section is to go to the store. If you have room to store stuff, then buying in bulk is so worth it. We have a membership at Sa.m's Clu.b and I buy all of our paper products there as well as many food items from there so that I always have it on hand to cook with. I buy hamburger and put it into 1 pound increments and freeze it in a ziploc. I also divide up steak, chicken and pork chops and freeze them too. I buy a 5 pound bag of corn and throw a little bit at a time on the stove top as a quick side dish. I buy snacks like applesauce, animal crackers and cheese and crackers and throw them in the "snack bowl" in the pantry for Logan to get on his own at snack time. And on the bottom of my pantry I have toilet paper, kleenex and paper towels at my disposal. It does cost a lot to buy in bulk because you are getting more product, but in the end when you do a cost analysis of the items you purchased in bulk vs. buying at the grocery store or tar.get it is usually cheaper in the long run.

Bring Baby With You-Getting out and about with your new baby(ies) can be quite the task. From making sure you have everything in the diaper bag to getting dressed and ready to get out of the house. In my experience, the sooner you leave your house after your baby is born, the better and the more you get out, the easier it is. When Logan was three months old we hopped on a plane and went to Florida in the middle of our cold Minnesota winter. We decided to go on a Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning at 7:00am we were boarding our plane. When Caden and Colton were eight weeks old we again hopped on a plane with all three of our children to Florida. Granted it was A LOT easier to do it with just Logan the first time around, I am so glad that we did it with Caden and Colton too. It helped me know that I can get out of my house and into the world. And packing up each day to go to Dis.ney Wor.ld and other attractions helped me get into a good "groove" of getting out of the house. At these ages it was so easy to travel too because the babies slept so much still that the flights were very calm and even going to Dis.ney Wor.ld was fairly easy because they slept through most of the day. When we went with Logan to Florida we did not go to Dis.ney, but we did hang out a whole lot by the pool, have a couple of drinks and just relaxed while our new bundle slept peacefully between our legs on the lounge chair poolside. BEST TRIP EVER!

Keep Your Diaper Bag Packed- Plan ahead and make sure you have everything in the diaper bag. When I stock my diaper bag I put everything and more into it. I have 10-15 diapers, a whole pack of wipes, four bibs, four burp cloths,, toys, diaper changing pad, extra outfit in case of a blow out, wallet, and cell phone. I use a back pack right now because I need to have both hands free for both babies so all of this stuff fits nicely and it is easy to carry. I do keep a sample size thing of formula in the diaper bag so that I don't have to refill it that often, which leads me to my next topic...

Formula By The Pitcher- In addition, I make a pitcher of formula at a time and fill a days worth of bottles each day. When I go someplace I put the premade bottles in a cooler with an ice pack and when it is time to eat all I have to do is pull the bottle out of cooler. This may not work for everyone though. I have always given all three of my boys their bottles straight out of the fridge cold so they are not used to getting a warm bottle. Obviously if your newborn is having a hard time maintaining their body temp, I would not serve them a cold bottle out of the fridge. Even though my boys did not have a hard time maintaining their body temp, I did wrap them in a blanket when I fed them. For us, convenience of having pre-made bottles has been a life saver, especially when both babies were screaming to be fed at the same time. When they were really little we would fill a cooler of eight bottles and bring it up to our bedroom at night for those middle of the night feedings so that all we had to do was pull two bottles out of the cooler.

Date Night- It is important to get out of the house or to spend time together inside of the house. When Logan was three weeks old I felt like I needed a little break. We brought him to my parents house and then DH and I went to a movie at the theater down the street from their house. It was a nice, short little break and allowed DH and I to get out of the house for a bit. We did go out occasionally without Logan, especially when we were invited to functions without children. However, now that we have three children we find that it is more important to go out together. It is hard right now to have that quality time with DH at home after the kids go to bed because we have so much more going on during the day that it is hard to keep up with other things so we end up doing them after the kids go to bed. We thankfully have our nanny who is able to come and babysit the kids so that we can get out of the house for a couple of hours. We usually go out about one time/month, but if we are invited to other functions we do go out more often.

Make Friends- If you are deciding to be a SAHM after having your baby(ies) then try to make friends that are also home during the day. I had a really hard time adjusting to being a SAHM after Logan was born, not because I didn't want to be home, but because it was a huge change for me. Thankfully I had a few other friends who were also SAHM that I would get together for play dates with. Now that Caden and Colton are here, most of my friends have older children. I joined an early childhood education class with other moms whose children are Caden and Colton's age and I am also a member of my local moms of multiples club. It is fun to meet new people to share similar experiences with and to ask for advice from.

Do Laundry At Night- When all of my babies were still getting up in the middle of the night I would do laundry. Before I went to bed I would throw a load in the washer. When we got up to feed a couple of hours later I would put it in the dryer and throw a new load into the washer. When I got up a couple of hours later I would pull it out of the dryer and hang it and throw the load from the washer into the dryer. Repeat, repeat, repeat. There is so much laundry to do with newborns as well as laundry from the rest of the members of the family, that I found this to be a time-saving way to do laundry.

These are just a couple of things I thought of that have made my life easier. I hope you found something useful out of these suggestions and if not, that's fine too. :) You will find what works best for you and your family. :)

What tips do you have to make our lives as moms just a little bit easier?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

IVF Weekend in Review

I had such a great weekend this past weekend!

A couple of years ago I met a gal named J on IVFC. She lives in another state and when she found out that I lived in MN she told me that she has relatives who live in MN too. I told her that if she was ever in MN to let me know. Through the last couple of years we have stayed in contact and even became friends on FB. She had twin girls in July 2009 and we had our boys in January 2010. When she was pregnant with her girls she posted some belly pics on her FB page and I showed my DH the pics and his response was, "are you going to be that big?" My response was, "I hope so!" (I think that big pg bellies are the best! Big, healthy babies abound!)

So, a few months ago J told me that she was coming to MN this past weekend for a wedding. I penciled it in on my calendar and then just a couple of weeks ago we finalized our plans. I ended up picking her up at her hotel and we headed to the M.all of Amer.ica to grab some dinner and do some window shopping. We had so much fun! Talking about our kids, our IF journeys and just talking about girl stuff. And the mango margarita was awesome!

While we were at the Mall, we also hooked up with my friend S. S lives about three hours from me, but when I was talking to her last Thursday on the phone she told me that her and her DH were coming in to town on Friday for the weekend (he was running in a 10K on Saturday). I found out that they were also going to be at the Mall on Friday night for dinner. What are the chances?? I hardly ever to to the Mall (it is 45 minutes from my house) and for me to be there on the same night as them when they live three hours from the Mall. The last time I saw S and her DH was when they came to stay at our house in July for a weekend. I only get to see her a couple of times each year so it is always a treat when I get to spend time with them.

On Saturday we went to our local fire departments open house. They had all of the fire vehicles and a state trooper helicopter on display as well as fire truck rides, a fire truck jumper, activities and balloons for the kids.

Logan in the state trooper helicopter

On Sunday we were invited to the M.all of Amer.ica again to go to a birthday party that our RE throws every year for the babies he helped conceive. We met up with four of our IVF friends to go through the receiving line together to see our RE and his staff. The receptionist greeted us when we entered Under.water Wor.ld and she came up and gave me a hug. The next person that greeted us was the embryologist who was Caden and Colton's first babysitter :) I told her thank you for creating Caden and Colton's little lives. She said something along the lines of "we don't create just lives, we create families". It was so cute! I loved it because even though this event was for Dr. S. to see the Little Monkeys we brought Logan with us because he is our family too. It just really resonated with me how she said it because I felt like she was including Logan too.

We then saw two of our favorite nurses and then our RE, Dr. S. We even got a really funny, haphazard picture of Dr. S. with our family. I wish we had gotten a better picture, but it was so busy that we were happy to just get the picture we got. Dr. S. remembered who we were, which is impressive since we have not been to our RE clinic since June 2009, and he remembered which cycle # we had conceived Caden and Colton on and he also remembered that we had consulted with Dr. School.craft at CC.RM. What a memory! And there were probably hundreds of people there! Maybe he just remembered us since we did five transfers with him and was receiving treatment at his clinic for almost 1.5 years. ;)

After we saw Dr. S. we all headed out to dinner together. Fun, fun, fun!

I'll leave you with a family picture of us taken in August: